The Giants have a lot of holes in their secondary, but there’s an abundance of talent at the wideout position.
Sure, this unit isn’t without it’s own problems, such as the slow and steady recovery of Victor Cruz (knee and calf), and the sophomore struggles of Odell Beckham, Jr., (who until the Jets game, was held without a catch in preseason action). But there’s a lot of depth in that corps – perhaps the deepest unit on the team.
The first cut day is Sept. 1, and as many as nine receivers could make the final 53-man roster, since a handful are also special teams contributors. More realistically, is that maybe six make the active gameday roster, with a couple of them being relegated to the 10-man practice squad.
Cruz and Beckham are obvious choices to make it, as well as holdover Rueben Randle, who is in the all-important contact year.
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Randle is well aware of the pressure that falls on not only his shoulders this season, but the fringe guys, too. But he noted that he thinks his receivers’ room will be as good as any, once everyone gets healthy.
“We all have a pretty good grasp of things. Whoever makes it [final cuts], it’s just going to be about going out there and executing. When guys get all healthy enough to stay on the field and get on the field at the same time, it’s gonna be special,” Randle said, adding as the preseason winds down, guys are gelling and understanding the importance of these last few weeks. “It [finding a rhythm] is key. I think we are all working to get to that point.”
The veteran holdovers are on solid ground, but after that it’ll be an interesting battle, as it’s a pretty solid group of guys who possess size (6-foot-4 Corey Washington, 6-foot-3 Juron Criner, and 6-foot-2 Randle and James Jones), and speed (Dwayne Harris). The veteran Harris will make the roster due to his return prowess, as the former Dallas Cowboy has career averages of 26.5 yards in kickoffs and 11.1 yards on punts. He’s also the gunner (outside cover guy) on kickoff coverage, so his spot is all but guaranteed.
Washington was the preseason darling last year, dazzling fans with acrobatic catches and huge statistical outings. But he’s yet to rekindle that magic and is on the proverbial bubble. It also doesn’t help his case that he’s not a legitimate special teams player, like Harris, Preston Parker, Geremy Davis, and Julian Talley.
There are a legitimate five veterans who will most certainly make the roster, meaning there will some consternation for the fringe guys. Look for practices and the team’s preseason finale against New England to settle the remaining three or four spots.
Automatics: Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Dwayne Harris, James Jones, Preston Parker.
On the bubble: Corey Washington, Geremy Davis, Julian Talley.
The others: Derrick Johnson, Juron Criner.