While there may be some issues regarding depth with this unit (hence the need to get Steve Smith back in the fold), the Giants do boast a veritable receiving duo in Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham, who are both coming off career years. As a unit, the team finished 10th in the NFL in receiving yards (242.8)
Nicks is the primary target. Nicks is coming off a season in which he caught 79 passes for 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns, and that was only in 13 games. Manningham, meanwhile, also posted career bests with 60 receptions for 944 yards and nine touchdowns.
Outside of Nicks and Manningham, the team will be looking to some cagy veterans (Domenik Hixon, Michael Clayton and Devin Thomas) and some eager young prospects (Ramses Barden, Jerrell Jernigan, Victor Cruz and Duke Calhoun) to help bolster the corps.
“Overall, we still have work to do,” said Nicks to Giants.com “It is still early in training camp. We just have to keep doing what we need to do to get better.”
Nicks, who’s been around the block a few times when it comes to camp, knows there is some rust to shake off, especially after the lockout.
“We still have guys figuring out the ins and outs right now,” added Nicks. “It is going to all come together.”
One receiver of interest to keep an eye on is the speedy rookie Jernigan.
Jernigan, a third round selection in April’s NFL draft out of Troy is turning heads with his speed and playmaking abilities.
There is a chance that Jernigan can fill the third receiver role, mostly as a slot receiver.
“I just go out there, run the stuff that coach is installing and go out there and try to do my best,” said Jernigan.
“Mostly in the slot,” Jernigan said when asked where he’s lining up most in camp. “I played outside too. So, whenever he (Tom Coughlin) needs me to go outside, I went outside. I pretty much went everywhere.”
While there are plenty of headaches for Giants fans to digest, they can rest easy knowing that they can trust their young receiving corp.
With tight end Kevin Boss gone to Oakland and Smith still unsigned, Nicks knows that there are some negative undertones in camp, but he remains optimistic.
“You can look at it in a negative way, but I don’t ever take it negatively,” said Nicks. “(I have to) step up to the plate and do what I have to do.”
All quotes courtesy of Giants.com