Super Mario Trying to Fill Some Big Shoes

Louis GiangarraCorrespondent IJune 2, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 05:  Mario Manningham #82 of the New York Giants plays against the Seattle Seahawks during their game on October 5, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The first day of OTA's have been completed and among the early standouts is last year's third round pick, Mario Manningham.

Manningham was getting open with ease, especially deep down the field, and also showed a great ability to adjust to an imperfect throw. 

This season, he is among the many options at the WR position that have to step up in the wake of losing both starters from last season. Manningham seems to be up for the challenge.

"I'm excited," Manningham said. "I want to go out there and show everybody what I can do, show everybody that I can compete. That's why I'm here."

When the Giants drafted Manningham, it was considered a steal at the time. He was coming off a college career in which he caught 137 passes for over 2,000 yards, including 27 touchdowns. He was supposed to be the deep threat the Giants have been looking for.

Unfortunately for him, an injury derailed Manningham's season before it even got started.  In training camp last season, Manningham suffered a hamstring injury that forced him off the field during those most valuable early season practices. He never quite recovered.

This year, however, Manningham seems poised to make up for that lost season and show that he truly is worthy of his high draft status. 

"I can just go out there and let my athleticism take over," said Manningham. "When you're a rookie, you're going out there trying to remember the play and getting your splits down right. You don't remember half the play. I'm better. Way better. It's just going out there and playing now."

This season the Giants have two new rookies in Hakeem Nick and Ramses Barden itching to get some time on the field. 

They also have two young veterans who have established some camaraderie with Eli Manning already. In the end though, the biggest weapon of the group could very well turn out to be the forgotten man of the group.

We may well be hearing "Manning to Manningham for a touchdown!" more often than anybody might think.