Hakeem Nicks, and Mario Manningham are set as the Giants number one and number two receivers. The only concern for this position is who will emerge to be the number 3 wide receiver?
The Giants missed on their chance to sign free agents such as Plaxico Burress, Malcom Floyd, or Braylon Edwards. And The Giants have still not re-signed Steve Smith who is still recovering from a Knee Injury that cut his season short last year. With Smith, out Manningham stepped up big time, now the only question remains is who will back up Nicks, and Manningham?
The Giants have many options to look at this year:
Their first option is Domenik Hixon: Last year Hixon tore his ACL in pre-season and missed all last year. Now this year he hopes to return and make an impact an impact with the Giants receiving core. Hixon is also a key contributor on Special Teams, as he was mostly used in Kick and Punt returns. So Hixon may be the teams Kick and Punt Returner, but will he have competition? In terms of wide receiver, yes he will.
Hixon's competition include Victor Cruz, Ramses Barden, Jerrel Jernigan, Michael Clayton, Mark Clayton, Darius Reynaud, and Devin Thomas.
Ramses Barden has not been cleared to practice yet, as he suffered a broken leg against the Dallas Cowboys last year when he broke his ankle. The Doctors have yet to clear Barden, and it is also uncertain on what condition Barden will be, if or when he starts to play this pre-season. Barden's health is a concern for the Giants, and his health will be a key factor on who the third wide receiver will be.
Jerrel Jernigan, Duke Calhoun, Devin Thomas and Victor Cruz are the underdogs in this situation. Jerningan was drafted by the Giants in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft. Jernigan comes from Troy and has high expectation this season. Duke Calhoun shocked everyone when he beat Derek Hagan for the team spot of wide receiver last year. Devin Thomas proved to be a contributing factor on special teams last year (especially against his former team, The Washington Redskins). So Jernigan Calhoun, Thomas, and Cruz appear to be favorites in making the team, but the competition for the number 3 receiver is anybody's guess again?
Other notable mentions for underdogs are Michael and Mark Clayton. Mark Clayton appears to have signed with the New York Giants along with Michael Clayton. Both receivers have had experience in the NFL playing for other teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the St. Louis Rams. Michael Clayton served the special teams well last year. So will they make the team? This one appears to be a long shot!
As far as the other receivers go:
Darius Reynaud's return does not appear to be likely at this point.
And Sam Giguere and Todd Watkins are out.
Take your pick on The Giants number three receiver which will depend on Barden's health and Steve Smith's possible return.