When the New York Giants drafted wide receiver Rueben Randle out of LSU in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, they thought they landed a pro-ready 6’2 receiver who could be a dynamic play maker on offense. Randle excelled in college and became highly regarded by many experts for his talent.
The Giants believed that they had upgraded over Mario Manningham, who left for the San Francisco 49ers after helping Big Blue win Super Bowl XLVI in 2011.
Nearing the end of Randle’s third season in New York, many are still wondering if and when those expectations for Randle to break out and consistently develop into the talented receiver many projected him to be. Randle has had opportunities from his rookie season to develop a connection with quarterback Eli Manning and become a reliable option in the Giants’ offense.
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In his rookie year of 2012, Randle flashed his potential and for the moment reassured Giants fans that Randle would be the next big receiver for them with Manningham gone and the rapid decline of Hakeem Nicks.
Randle finished the year with 19 catches for 298 yards receiving and just 3 touchdowns.
In 2013, Randle hit the sophomore slump big time. Getting his first shot to be a starter as an outside receiver opposite Nicks with Victor Cruz playing a lot of his time in the slot, best fit his skill set.
Randle once again showed flashes of potential, but much like Manningham, he had a difficult time getting on the same page as Manning which lead to miscues between the two.
It eventually forced Manning to look elsewhere in big spots. Randle finished the year with only 41 catches for 611 yards and 6 touchdowns in a year that many believed would be his break-out year.
This season Randle once again had the opportunity to establish himself as the number two receiver on the Giants with Cruz as the number one and Jerrel Jernigan (remember him?) as the number three option.
Fellow LSU alumni and first found pick in last April’s draft Odell Beckham Jr, was sidelined indefinitely with a lingering hamstring problem and season ending injuries to Cruz and Jernigan served Randle the opportunity to seize the number one receiver spot on a silver platter.
Disappointingly, Randle has once again been plagued by the same issues that have prevented him into developing into the top receiver many had hoped for. Constant miscues with Manning, lack of agility and too many dropped passes have once again left Randle muddled in mediocrity.
Plus the emergence of Beckham who has quickly become the receiver the Giants hoped Randle would become and then some has reduced Randle to a minimal role in the Giants offense.
Two weeks ago versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Randle was benched for the first quarter for being late to a team meeting. He has shown a lack of heart on the field by not fighting for extra yards and seemingly not putting all his effort into his routes even on the few occasions where he would actually run the correct route.
Many questions surround Randle who is midway through a four year, $3.291 million contract with the explosion of Beckham as a top receiver to go along with Cruz, and young players on the rise like Preston Parker and Corey Washington, Randle’s role on offense going forward is a mystery. Some would even question if Randle would even be on the Giants next season.
If he is, where would he fall on the depth chart? Would he fall into a permanent number three or four receiving option or will he once again get another opportunity to prove himself? All of this remains to be seen but it will be interesting to see what develops if anything with the young receiver who many hoped would be something much more than he currently is.
What do you think Giants fans? Do you feel Randle can live up to his potential? Or will he become another name added to the list of forgotten Giants receivers? Leave a comment below!