If anything could be considered a bright spot from the 2009 season, then it would have to be the emergence of the Giants' wide receivers.
Steve Smith established himself as a legitimate threat in the intermediate game, setting a single-season franchise record for receptions. He has an uncanny knack for finding soft spots in the defense.
Hakeem Nicks showed a big play-making ability. He was tied for first in receiving yards by a rookie WR and was top 20 out of all WRs in AVG yards per reception. That's not bad for a player who had only six starts, especially since Giants rookie WRs often don't fare well.
As for Mario Manningham, his rookie year was stunted by missing training camp with an injury then missing various games with a sickness. Despite his issues with the sidelines and dropped passes, Manningham still managed to be 2nd in total yards, yards per game, and TDs out of all 2nd-year WRs. Out of all no. 2 WRs in the NFL, he was top-seven in yards and receptions.One player who didn't get much of an opportunity in 2009 but figures to be a player in 2010 is Ramses Barden. Besides the fact that Jerry Reese moved up to take him in the draft and Barden had a stellar performance in training camp, there isn't a lot that can be said about him. He played in only three games and didn't get his lone reception of the year until Week 17. It's good that Smith is mentoring him. We're all hopeful that he can be integrated into the red zone offense, at the very least.
Let's say that all four wide receivers will develop their game and progress in 2010. Let's say that the Giants' passing attack will be considered one of the best in the league. Fans of teams like Cleveland and Chicago, who have no wide receivers, will look at us with great envy. Barden will have the big 2nd-year jump that Manningham had last year. Manningham will run crisp routes and have fewer drops. Nicks will become a consistent performer week in, week out. Smith will continue to be Eli Manning's most reliable WR.
OK. Here is the question: what is your depth chart?