Most of the mock drafts that I’ve featured in ‘This Week In Mock Drafts’ on GMEN HQ have been mocking either linebackers or offensive lineman to the Giants but today’s installment brings us a new position. However, we’ll get back to that later on in the article.
With free agency pretty much done, minus the few leftover scraps, and drafted and undrafted players signed and brought into training camps, most teams know what they will look like this upcoming season.
Before free agency started, even with Steve Smith’s injury concerns, the wideout position looked like it had some pretty good depth to it. After Smith’s departure to the supposed “Dream Team” many Giants fans and NFL scribes decided that it was now time to worry.
Not me. I think the Giants still have a great group of wideouts, led by Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. And a couple of players behind them, especially Domenik Hixon and potentially Victor Cruz, give them a sold nucleus of receivers.
What we know right now is that Nicks and Manningham are ballers and that the Giants have a great 1-2 duo at the starting wide receiver position. Having Smith gave them a lethal 1-2-3 but he’s not here anymore and it’s time for someone else to step up and I think Hixon or Cruz will be that guy.
Then there’s a group of others including Devin Thomas, Jerrel Jernigan, Michael Clayton, Darius Reynaud and Ramses Barden who could make an impact on the depth chart behind the main four guys, depending on who makes the team and who gets cut. Barden is the one to keep a close eye on; all the talent in the world but the injuries are a major concern that could see him not even making the final 53 man roster.
Basically what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think the Giants need to draft a wide receiver next year but the columnist of today’s mock draft featured doesn’t agree me and has the Giants taking a wide receiver in the 2012 NFL Draft.
That columnist would be http://bleacherreport.com/articles/821116-2012-nfl-mock-draft-predicting-all-32-picks-of-the-1st-round. In his latest mock draft from August 26, Stueve mocked wide receiver Jeff Fuller from Texas A&M to the Giants with the 25th overall pick, which is good for second place in the NFC East, behind the above mentioned “Dream Team.”
Stueve thinks that the Giants will need a wide receiver because Smith is no longer a Giant and that all teams need three good wide receivers. Both are sentiments I agree with but as I laid out earlier in this article I think the Giants have some good depth at wide receiver and won’t need to draft Fuller or any other wide receiver in the 2012 draft, unless of course the player is too good to pass up.
Is Fuller that type of guy? At 6’4, 220 pounds, he could be a Plaxico replacement that makes catches in the red zone. Of course, that’s what we all said about Barden when he was drafted and if he makes the team I’d like to hope that Barden would finally be that guy.
Fuller’s been named to watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Biletnikoff Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and the Pony Express Award so a lot of people think pretty highly of him. He also holds the record for most touchdown catches in Texas A&M history and isn’t too far off from the receptions and receiving yards records. For his collegiate career, Fuller has caught 163 catches for 2,264 yards and 28 touchdowns and went for 72 catches, 1,066 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. His best game came against Texas Tech where he caught 11 balls for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns.
All very impressive achievements and there’s nothing wrong with adding more offensive firepower to the Giants receiving corps but I’d rather see a first round pick go to a position of much greater need. But then again we have no idea how this season will play out and I could be completely wrong and the Giants receiving corps might be brutal. I don’t think that will happen but it could; it’s all a guessing game at this point.
One other stat line of note when it comes to Fuller that might play a role in whether or not the Giants would have any interest in him is his career arrest total. During his time at Texas A&M he was arrested for consumption of alcohol by a minor. While not a big deal, and all kids find a way to get their hands on alcohol, it’s still something to look at. Teams are investing time, energy, roster spots and money in first round draft picks and any little misstep in a player’s college life, on or off the field, needs to be considered.
I, for one, just can’t wait for the regular season to kickoff and we can stop talking about maybes or what ifs and see what this Giants team is made of.