Many have the New York Giants pegged to draft a wide receiver at some point in the first few rounds. The team lost Hakeem Nicks to free agency after he signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts and failed to really replace him with young talent. Not looking to have a repeat of last year's season, Victor Cruz says he wants the best outside receiver in the draft, so what about Rueben Randle?
Cruz spoke on NFL Total Access about the upcoming NFL Draft and the pressing needs for the Giants. A tight end was mentioned. A linebacker like CJ Mosley was tossed around, but most importantly Cruz says the team needs a playmaker on the outside to truly open up the offense.
"[A big-play receiver] is something we need in this offense to be successful," Cruz said. "I think 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, I think it will be beneficial to us."
New offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride hinted at the same idea. When asked about the deterioration of Eli Manning and possible lack of arm strength, the offensive coordinator simply said that the quarterback needs one more playmaker outside of Cruz to make everything fall back into place.
"He's going to be fine as soon as they solidify the offensive line -- they certainly made a move to do that by bringing in three interior offensive linemen -- [and] as soon as they get someone who is going to be productive for them as an outside receiver. Victor Cruz is terrific, but they need someone when they go matchup, go bump and run, to go win for them," Gilbride said.
So what about Randle, the wide receiver that was supposed to step up this season and fill the gap? Randle has seen limited action in his first two seasons, but did put up 611 yards and six touchdowns last season, looking poised to develop into a star. However, it is clear that Cruz does not see that and neither does head coach Tom Coughlin who downplayed what role Randle would have next season. He failed to show up to Duke where Manning held his annual passing clinic with receivers, something Cruz noticed.
"I do feel that it's something that I would love for all of us to be down there to do, but I understand," Cruz said. "It's a time that guys are getting themselves healthy, guys have issues with their families that they have to take care of and I understand that part of it."
Cruz wants Mike Evans in the draft. The Giants select at No. 12 and that might not be high enough to get the Texas A&M standout. Other options in the second round could be Odell Beckham Jr. or Marqise Lee.