Voters: Dr. Bill Chachkes, Kel Dansby, John Fennelly, Chris Johnson, Dan Orlando (Sports World Report), Rich Resch, Craig Santucci, Dan Stack, Jon Wagner
Victor CruzVotes received: Chachkes (3rd place), Orlando (3rd), Fennelly (4th), Stack (4th), Wagner (4th), Santucci (5th), Johnson (6th), Resch (6th), Dansby (8th)
Santucci: The newbie changed how Eli runs the offense. Missing Cruz would crush Eli’s efficiency and big play ability.
Stack: His 2011 season can not be a fluke in light of the Nicks injury.
Dansby: He has to prove he isn't a one year wonder and that he deserves a long term deal.
Johnson: Great hands, explosive. Best asset for Cruz: YAC.
Wagner: Although Cruz has the Giants’ all-time single season yardage record for a receiver (set last year), Nicks is still the top option. But, every #1 needs a great #2 to compliment him well, and Cruz does that and then some. Another “must have” who can’t go down.
Chachkes: He will ascend to become one of the five best NFL receivers this year if not already in the category. Victor was NOT a one year wonder, and all from FCS-UMass (Div-1AA) and the story of the local boy makes good tops it all off.
Orlando: So Cruz beats out Nicks? On my list he does. It's not just about the stats being higher: 82 receptions for 1,536 yards and nine regular season TDs. It's not because he sparked a fading Giants season with a 99 yard TD reception on Christmas Eve.
Well, actually... maybe it is because of that 99 yard scamper. Cruz certainly benefits from a receiver the caliber of Nicks playing opposite of him to draw coverage, but put the ball anywhere near the Patterson, NJ native and he's going to find a way to haul it in. He oozes big plays. In fact, it can be hard to picture Cruz making a reception that wasn't jaw dropping. Without his electric performances, the Giants simply don't make the playoffs.
Resch: Victor Cruz' 2011 highlight reel is better than those of most teams. In fact, he probably made seven or eight of the most memorable plays of the year, all in his first year as a pro. He shattered the Giants' single-season receiving record despite the fact that he didn't even play until the third game of the season. Eli Manning was the team's most valuable player, but Cruz may have been their offensive player of the year.
Some are afraid that he will be a one year wonder, but not me. I don't think he'll come all that close to ever re-producing his historic 2011 season, but he looks like he'll consistently break 1,000 yards and be in the running for a pro bowl spot. With Hakeem Nicks, Ruben Randle and some other talented receivers, as well as an attempt at re-energizing the running game, it just wont be possible for Cruz to top 1,500 yards again. But after last season, he currently owns the title of the NFL's "most exciting player."
And did we seriously get through this entire article without mentioning the word "salsa?"