New York Giants Wide Receiver Battle: Cruz vs. Moss vs. Hagan

Nicholas LianosCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 18:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants' helmet rests on the field prior to their NFL game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on October 18, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, and Ramses Braden are all locks for the season, but who else makes the roster, at wide receiver, is up for grabs.  With Smith and Manningham nursing injuries, the backups fighting for a job will have a great chance to improve their spot on the team.

Sinorice Moss, the Giants' second round pick in 2006, has always shown flashes in the preseason but the fifth year player hasn't translated that into the regular season. Always being injured doesn't help him either.  A productive performance on special teams will help him, but he has never added much in the return game, when given the chance to be the kick or punt returner. 

Odds on making the team: 5-1

Derek Hagan was signed by the Giants in the 2009 offseason to add depth to the wide outs and be a special teams player.  Hagan didn't add much to the offense with a eight grabs for the whole year.  Hagan was a very good special teams player adding 11 tackles on the unit and being on the Giants gunners.  While I don't expect much from him offensively, Hagan's special teams ability puts him on equal footing, with the rest of the wide outs.

Odds: 5-1.

Victor Cruz was signed by the Giants as a rookie free agent out of UMass, a Division I-AA school.  He was a highly decorated player putting up incredible numbers in two seasons.  His 131 receptions puts him fourth on the school's all-time list.  The Patterson, NJ native also can return kicks, as he did in college, which adds versatility. 

Cruz had an amazing day against the Jets in the Giants first preseason game.  While doing most of the damage against second stringers Cruz sill was turning heads with his catches as he has done all training camp long.

Odds: 3-1

Already having a great camp, Cruz turned heads in the preseason opener. The three touchdown performance with a highlight grab put him on the map.  Cruz will probably need a good follow-up game vs Pittsburgh to solidify his spot, on the team.

Moss did dress put did not get a reception against the Jets.  This probably hurts his chances of making it.

Hagan had a good offensive game vs the Jets and played on special teams.  Hagan probably helped his cause after game one.

With Manningham, Smith, and Nicks all expected to be the main targets for Eli, the backups have to add something different to the team. Right now, Barden has the fourth spot with Cruz, then Hagan, and Moss rounding out the group.