New York Giants High on WR Mike Evans?: According to The New York Daily News, unidentified sources have told the paper that Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans is “near the top of the Giants’ draft board and a player they very seriously have their eye on at No. 12″ in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The 6’5”, 225 pound player is widely considered to be one of the top two wide receivers available.
Evans also has a fan in Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz. Speaking on The NFL Network, Cruz was asked about his team’s draft needs.
“If I had my choice, if I had my pick, I think we should go receiver,” said Cruz on Thursday. “I think we definitely need some help, especially losing a guy like Hakeem Nicks, such a big-play guy in our offense. I think that’s something we need back in this offense to be successful. An outside guy that can do the job and that can help fuel all the other receivers in the locker room and put some fire up under them to get them where they have to be.”
The lack of an outside threat to complement Cruz is something that former Giants’ offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has talked about publicly a few times since he retired. “Victor Cruz still played very well on the inside for us, but it became readily apparent to defenses that we weren’t playing as well with the outside receiver position,” said Gilbride back in January. “That became an area that people just, they had no reservation about lining up just bump and run and getting an extra guy into the box, making it more difficult and challenging to run and forcing you to throw the ball vertically a little bit. You try to throw some three-step fades and fade stops, but they’re sitting on those things. I think if the Giants can get the wideout position straightened out – the outside position, not the inside because between Victor Cruz and the emergence of Jerrel Jernigan at the end, that will help.”
The comments by Cruz and Gilbride seem to be an indirect knock against wide receiver Rueben Randle. He played in all 16 games of the 2013 season with three starts, and finished with 41 catches for 611 yards and six touchdowns. But Randle only averaged 2.5 catches per game, did not score in the last six games of the season, and only had one 100-yard receiving game all year.
On The NFL Network, Cruz talked very positively about Mike Evans. “He’s a guy that’s a big body that can get down the field, that can catch the ball with strength over his head, around defenders,” Cruz said. “He’s a guy that I watched a lot during his college tenure and that I’m excited about.”
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- Eli Manning trade 10 years later: Memories from inside the Giants war room by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com
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