The Missing Piece in the New York Giants' Puzzle

Jim WoodContributor IMarch 28, 2009

CINCINNATI - DECEMBER 28:  Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Kansas City Chiefs carries the ball during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 28, 2008 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Situation

The New York Giants need a deep threat wide receiver, now that Plaxico Buress will most likely not be available for the Giants next season. Passing up on what free agency had to offer the Giants will have to turn to the draft or a trade to fill that gap.

With a large deep threat wide receiver or even a quick tight end other teams will not be able to line up eight or nine men on the line against the ground game, making running the ball possible.

Here are the Possibilities


Braylon Edwards-Cleveland Browns

The Giants need a deep threat to fill in for Plaxico Buress. The Browns coaching staff seems to not be ready to ship off any and everyone on the team in an attempt to re-build and recreate the Browns.  

The Giants have already offered the Second and Fifth round selections that they received for Jeremy Shockey and Domenik Hixon or Mario Manningham for Braylon Edwards.

However, both have been rejected as the Browns have requested the Shockey picks and Steve Smith the Giants only true slot wide receiver.  

However, being able to keep their 29th pick in the draft trading away Steve Smith wouldn't hurt them as they could replace him with either Percy Harvin or Darrius Haywood-Bey either of which would make good slot wide receivers as they are both fast smaller targets similar to Steve Smith.  

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However, I would see it more likely for the Giants to throw in Sinorice Moss and Domenik Hixon than Steve Smith.

Anquan Boldin-Arizona Cardinals

Boldin, who is probably the better player between himself and Braylon Edward, would hawk a much higher price than Edwards, as he has had many good years in the NFL compared to Edwards' one decent year (Cleveland QB Situation may be to Blame) and one spectacular year and is only two years older that Edwards.  

However, Boldin would be a much higher risk move as he may be on the decline which has been rumored by many sources and also would demand a new contract which could end up being upwards of $40 million over five years.

However, Boldin is one of the tougher receivers in the NFL and has the distinguished and well earned reputation of being one of the best.

The Giants would most likely have to give up their first round pick in 2009 along with there fifth round pick and a pick in 2010 that could range from a second to a fifth rounder depending on multiple factors.

Tony Gonzalez-Kansas City Chiefs

Tony Gonzalez who is probably the best tight end in football currently and a guaranteed hall of famer would take the smallest offer to bring in.

As he is already 35 and in the decline of his career he would probably on fetch a third or fourth round pick as the Kansas City Chiefs would most likely like to bring young quicker wide receivers for Matt Cassel to work with.

However, this would be the least likely of the trades that the Giants would make as he is an aging veteran that would only provide a temporary fix.


Darrius Heyward-Bey-University of Maryland

Darius Hayward Bey would be a quick fix for the Giants wide receiving corps as he is one of the best wide receivers in the draft.

He also has the size to replace Plaxico Buress at 6'3" and has the speed that would require a double team which would achieve the goal of stopping opposing teams from lining up eight or nine men on the line.

He will probably still be available for the Giants to pick up with the 29th pick in the NFL draft. If the Giants were to use there 29th pick for him it might be a little bit too early in the draft.

Michael Crabtree-Texas Tech

Michael Crabtree is the best wide receiver in the draft and would be the best fit to replace Plaxico Buress as he has proven that he can catch more than 100 balls a year and has the height and the speed to be a Hall of Famer.  

However, he does have an injury to his foot which could potentially harm his output for the 2009 season.

The Giants would also have to trade up to around the 10th pick to draft him which would most likely involve trading their first round pick and their second or third round pick making that unlikely with the abundant amount of other wide receivers that are available in the draft this year.

Kenny Britt-Rutgers

Kenny Britt is a younger Plaxico Buress as he has the same body type and similar speed. He also happens to to go to Rutgers in New Brunswick which would make the transfer from college to pro much easier than for any other player.

However, it would be more likely that he would be selected with their 15th pick in the second round draft that the Giants acquired from the Saints from Jeremy Shockey along with their fifth round pick.  

Britt is also the most bare-bones prospect that the Giants could draft to attempt to use as their No. 1 wide receiver until Buress would be able to play if at all in 2009, but he could be the greatest return out of any player in the draft.

Hakeem Nicks-University of North Carolina

Hakeem Nicks is the most sure handed wide receiver in the draft. After a big year at UNC proving his credentials it would not surprise me if he was drafted in the late first round by the Giants with the 29th pick.

However, again his size is an issue at 6'1" he is still plenty big enough to have many favorable match-ups against opposing linebackers and safeties however, he doesn't pose the same end zone threat that Plaxico does.  

Nicks, is the player that if the Giants chose to use the draft to fix their wide receiver needs, would most likely be drafted. 

Jeremy Maclin-Missouri

Jeremy Maclin is probably the best combination wide receiver in the draft as he has the speed to simply beat the defender to the ball and the size to still be able to go up in the end zone and come down with the ball.  

However, Maclin may end up going ahead of the 29th pick which the Giants have and falling somewhere near the 24th pick which would require the Giants to give up their pick and a fifth or sixth round pick to be able to get high enough to draft him.

Percy Harvin-Florida

Percy Harvin without a doubt is the fastest wide receiver in the draft and would certainly draw men out of the box.

However, Harvin is also one of the smaller wide receivers in the draft, a slot wide receiver which the Giants already have one of, and wouldn't be able to catch the same end zone passes that Plaxico could.

He also will probably be drafted ahead of the 29th pick in the draft as many other teams need a slot wide receiver.

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