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Position Breakdown: Receivers

Today, we break down the receivers, including tight ends. Remember to take a look at our past breakdowns here. The receiving core has been subject to a lot of criticism. Not all of its merited. I think this is an underrated group. Sure, losing Burress and Toomer will hurt. I do think it will lead to a faster, downfield passing offense. Let’s break it down:

Steve Smith: He enters this year as the presumptive number one. I think he’s up for it. He’s not very fast, but he’s quick, and catches almost everything. He’s not your prototypical number one in that he’s not tall and fast. But he’s capable of catching 100 balls, and scoring 10 TDs. Eli will rely on him greatly, especially on 3rd downs. If he can catch the ball, he will have a great year, because he will be thrown to a lot. We interviewed him here.

Domenik Hixon: Hixon sort of burst onto the scene last year, especially in the Seattle game, and was expected to replace Plaxico. After dropping an easy touchdown in the Eagles regular season game, (I was there, it was painful to watch), he seemed to not perform as well. His game is speed, and he can create separation. He’s not 6-4, but he’s 6-2, taller than a lot of DBs. I think he was miscast last year as the number one receiver. He can be a good number two guy, and that’s where he will be this year. He doesn’t have to be the superstar. That was put on him unfairly a year ago. If he catches 50 balls, makes a few long plays, I think we can all be happy.

Mario Manningham. This is a big year for Mario. He was hurt a lot last year, and didn’t really get a chance to perform on the field. But, he’s been the star of mini-camp, making plays, showing the potential he showed in Michigan. I think he can be a big factor this year.  He will be the slot receiver, stretching the defense, going long. They can use him on reverses and trick plays. Be creative with someone who has his speed. I think he can be effective. He doesn’t have to be the star, but he can make things happen with his speed, and I think you will see a lot of that.

Sinorice Moss. If you think this is a big year for Manningham, it’s a bigger year for Moss. Long labeled a ‘bust’, for not doing really anything in his Giants career, Moss needs to step up or else he will probably be looking for work. Moss had been impressing in mini camp  until a hamstring injury sidelined. When he recovers, he needs to show the same burst and separation skills he showed in mini camp for him to be effective. His game is speed, and since he’s small, he has to out run defenders. If he can’t do that, he won’t be on the Giants for long. Moss can be used as a downfield threat. He had been used on screens and reverses, and while that can work, he needs to go downfield, and beat corners, and have Eli throw it up. I hope he can be successful. If he stays healthy, that goes a long way. However, given his track record, I’m not sure how successful he can be.

Hakeem Nicks: This year’s first round pick has been compared to Anquan Boldin and even Michael Irvin. Let’s not go there yet. He still needs to prove himself in games. However, Nicks has shown tremendous skill, both in college and in mini camps. He has huge hands, that allow him to catch pretty much everything. He’s not fast, but like Smith, is quick. Rookie receivers tend to have a difficult transition from college, and it would wrong to anoint him as a savior. However, I think later in the year he can contribute, and be effective. We’re really looking long term with him, and we’ll know a lot more next season. But, he looks like he has the ability to be special.

Ramses Barden: The big guy. Barden is extremely raw coming from Cal Poly, but his size could allow him to contribute right away in the red zone. His body is identical to Plaxico’s, however he does not have the same speed. He’s a project, no doubt. But, if he stands in the end zone, he should be able to catch it. I can see him easily having 8 TDs this year, maybe more, while still learning the nuances of being an NFL wideout. He can be very important in the red zone.

David Tyree: It’s not often you hear a Super Bowl hero fighting for a roster spot, but that’s the dilemma Tyree’s in. I think that if Tyree did not make that catch, he would be off the team, especially coming off injury. He’s a special teams demon, but he’s not great as a receiver. I think it’s an interesting problem for the Giants. I don’t know how you can cut a Super Bowl hero. You have to hope he is still a special teams demon. If not, you have to cut him. It’s hard,but it is a business. It just looks really bad from a PR standpoint.

Kevin Boss: We move on to Tight Ends, and start with Boss. Boss has the potential to be an Pro Bowler, and was an alternate last year. I think this is the year he becomes a Pro Bowler, and takes a huge step forward. He has size, catches everything. He started to become Eli’s favorite target down the stretch, and you’ll see more of that this year.

Travis Beckum: Beckum is in the mold of Dustin Keller; purely a receiving tight end. He’s a tweener. Too slow to be a receiver, to fast to be a tight end. Keller had a big impact his rookie year with the Jets, and I think Beckum will have a big impact as well. He can be moved around a lot, put in motion. He can stretch the seam, and be an underneath target . Kevin Gilbride should have a lot of fun with him, ,and I think he’ll be a valuable weapon for Eli.

Michael Matthews: A true blocking tight end, and doesn’t provide much else. He’s a guy every team has to have. As long as he blocks, he’ll have a spot on this team.

Darcy Johnson: Johnson’s a bit of a wild card. He has pass catching potential, but I don’t think he’s that much of a blocker where he can unseat Matthews. He has great size. If they keep three tight ends, he will be on it. I just think he needs another year on the practice squad to work on his blocking. But he has a lot of potential.

This is a group that has to step up, but it has a lot of talent. Next up: Shaun O’Hara and the offensive line.

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One Response to “Position Breakdown: Receivers”

  1. Júlio César says:

    and how about travis beckum?

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