The New York Giants offense was off balance and out of sync for the duration of 2013. There was no “pop” to the ground game, the rapport between Eli Manning and his main targets was consistently discordant, the tight end position was a non-factor and Hakeem Nicks was MIA. Suffice it to say, slot receiver Victor Cruz felt the crunch — particularly in the Green Zone. Cruz caught a meager 4 touchdowns last season (down from 10 in 2012) with three lighting up the scoreboard in week #1 versus Dallas.
In order to return to his potent and productive ways, Cruz requires a “new Nicks” on the opposite side of the line. Appearing on NFL Total Access yesterday, the 27-year old from Patterson, NJ spoke candidly on how the Giants should spend their 12th pick in the NFL Draft come May 8th:
“If I had my choice, if I had my pick, I think we should go receiver. 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.”
Cruz — to the surprise of no one — believes Mike Evans would be the transcendent get for the Giants’ offense. Standing at 6’5 230, Evans’ catch radius is enormous. He has 35 inch arms and upwards of 9 1/2 inch hands; not to mention his legit vertical speed and ball-in-air route adjustments to snag passes at their apex. He’s not the smoothest mover or cleanest out of breaks, but he’s a definite system fit. The scouting report from Mr. Cruz:
“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. He’s a guy that I watched a lot during his college tenure and that I’m excited about.”
If the Lions are serious about selecting tight end Eric Ebron at #10, as he himself has proclaimed, then there’s an excellent chance Evans slips to the Jints. It’s plausible the Giants could view him as the most impactful prospect in their draft range, ahead of Aaron Donald or Taylor Lewan types. And they have long been infatuated with sizable wideouts to cash in the green. The possibilities are bountiful… it will be fascinating to see which need they gravitate towards.