Domenik Hixon is currently penciled in as the starting No. 1 receiver on the Giants roster. But does he deserve it, and will it last?
He has shown a lot of talent. He has good size, decent speed, reliable hands, and runs solid routes. However, when he needed to step up late last season, he barely made an impact.
Now it is true that he had very little practice time with the first team offense, which contributed to his sharp learning curve.
Hixon was originally brought in from Denver back in 2007, very late in the season, to be primarily used as a return specialist. Poor showings from other receivers and a mix of injuries pushed him to the forefront, but he did not impress.
He has, however, been a very successful return man. I think it may be time to go back to the role that suits him best.
With Sinorice Moss having an outstanding offseason, should Hixon be worried his starting job is in jeopardy? Absolutely.
The Giants know Hixon is not the answer for the future. That's why they went out and drafted future starter Hakeem Nicks. In fact, my crystal ball tells me one day it will be Nicks and Ramses Barden as the starters and Steve Smith doing what he does best, playing the slot.
Moss has not been successful in his first few seasons due to a rash of injuries, but finally healthy and performing well, I think he is poised to have a breakout year. The Giants have so much undervalued talent at the position that it will be a month-long battle royal. Who knows who will come out on top?
Nicks is a long shot this season, but Moss definitely has a fair chance. Mario Manningham could be the dark horse to take the third or fourth slot if Hixon is moved to the return game (with the removal of the four-man wall from the playbook, every team will need a solid returner if they hope to have any field position).
Don't forget, David Tyree is still available. Also, don't count out Derek Hagan to make the 53-man roster this season; he has been impressive thus far in camp.
If I had to look ahead to the final roster this season, I would say when the dust settles, it will look like this: 1. Moss 2. Smith 3. Nicks 4. Hixon 5. Hixon 6. Barden (I want to put Barden higher. I really like his potential, but he is just too raw. Give him a few years to develop).
I truly believe the coaching staff will benefit from such fierce competition this year in camp. With so many different toys to play with, there might be different starters depending on the opponent of the week.
The Giants have a lot of depth, and with no clear-cut starters, every player has a chance to make an impact this season. No one's job is safe.