With the impending departure of Hakeem NIcks and the failure of guys like Louis Murphy and Brandon Myers this past season, the New York Giants might be doing some searching for a third threat in the passing game alongside Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle—that is, assuming Jerrel Jernigan is not that guy.
This year’s draft class boasts an abundance of talent at the wide receiver position. The timing for such a strong group of wideouts is perfect; receivers come at a premium now in the pass-heavy NFL.
Today, cover32 dropped its rankings of the 2014 NFL Draft’s top 10 wide receivers, which can be seen here. They are as follows:
10. Paul Richardson (Colorado)
9. Jarvis Landry (LSU)
8. Davante Adams (Fresno State)
7. Allen Robinson (Penn State)
6. Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State)
5. Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt)
4. Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU)
3. Mike Evans (Texas A&M)
2. Marqise Lee (USC)
1. Sammy Watkins (Clemson)
Of those prospects, here are the ones that stand out to me for the Giants:
To be honest, I’m doubtful Evans is still available when the Giants are due to pick with the 12th overall pick. But if he is, the G-Men—even with all of their needs—might find it difficult to pass up on the big Texas A&M standout.
Evans caught 69 passes for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns. His size (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) and play-making ability are things the Giants desperately lack on the offensive side of the ball. Lining him up opposite Cruz and Randle would construct one of the most lethal receiving tandems in the league—something Big Blue could use after such an embarrassing 2013 season.
A personal favorite of mine but projected to go later in the first round, the Florida State Seminole possesses all the same traits in terms of size and play-making ability that Evans does. But there’s one thing he has that Evans doesn’t: speed.
It doesn’t register as much on paper, but on film, Benjamin is a matchup nightmare for opposing cornerbacks. He caught 54 passes for 1,011 yards from Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston.
He also caught a third-best 15 touchdowns. To put that in perspective, Nicks had scored just three touchdowns over the last two seasons.
In case you haven’t picked up on a theme here, I think the Giants need somebody with size. Penn State’s Robinson is another prospect with desirable size, standing 6-foot-3.
Robinson is currently projected as a late first round-to-early second round prospect by CBS Sports, so he could slide to the G-Men in the second round.
Robinson is not a major downfield threat like the previous two athletes, but he’s a strong, physical player willing to take on contact to pick up the extra yards. Despite playing with a freshman quarterback—granted, a good one in Christian Hackenberg—he led the Big Ten with 97 catches for 1,432 yards and six touchdowns.
CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler compared Robinson to the San Francisco 49ers’ Anquan Boldin and that sounds like an ideal player to pair with the electric Victor Cruz. Much like Nicks, Robinson appears to be the type of player that will produce big numbers and factor in as a serious weapon down in the red zone. Meanwhile, Cruz is allowed to benefit from the threat of Robinson with open opportunities to make the big plays he was able to in 2011 and 2012.