David Richard/Associated Press
If you were wondering why you didn’t see much of receiver Victor Cruz in Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game, you weren’t alone.
It turns out that Cruz, who took 19 snaps according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), wasn’t used that much for a reason.
“(Head coach Tom Coughlin) just wants to give younger guys reps and get everybody acclimated,” Cruz told reporters on Wednesday. “There’s only so many reps to go around so I just know that when I’m in there, I have to make the most of my reps and take it from there.”
With the coaching staff knowing what Cruz can bring to the new offense—he had plenty of reps in the spring—there are decisions to be made on the depth chart behind Cruz, the No. 1 receiver, and Rueben Randle, the projected No. 2 receiver.
Rookie Odell Beckham Jr., who hasn’t made it through a full practice in a little more than two weeks, has been gradually increasing what he's able to do this week. He's penciled in as the team's No. 3 receiver.
As for the identities of the No. 4 through 6 receivers (assuming the Giants keep six), that’s still to be determined.
Initially, projections had veterans Mario Manningham, Jerrel Jernigan and Trindon Holliday as the top candidates to fill out the depth chart, behind Cruz, Randle and Beckham.
However, Holliday has not been able to practice due to a leg injury, while Manningham has continued to struggle with his surgically repaired knee that appears to have robbed him of the speed and quickness he once had.
Jernigan appears to have the best chance of the three to earn a roster spot, but there are three young receivers—Marcus Harris, Preston Parker and Corey Washington—who have had strong camps thus far, and who are making a case for a roster spot.
Harris has caught just about every ball that’s been thrown his way. He was also the Giants’ team leader in receptions (four) and receiving yards (49) in the team’s preseason opener last week.
Parker, opened a few eyes with his punt-return abilities, averaging 11.0 yards per return in the Hall of Fame Game against the Bills.
Washington, the tallest of the Giants receivers, stands 6’4”, 214 pounds. He’s also shown that he’s a physical wideout who's got the toughness and ability to catch balls in traffic.
Stay tuned on this one, as this could be a battle that goes down to the wire.
Patricia Traina is the senior editor for Inside Football. All quotes and information obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow me on Twitter, @Patricia_Traina.