New York Giants Training Camp: Assessing The Wide Receivers

Jul 27, 2012; Albany, NY, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) signs autographs after training camp at University Field at SUNY Albany. Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Earlier today we discussed the excellent performance thus far in training camp by Jerrel Jernigan. Now, let's take a look at how all of the wide receivers have fared thus far during the first few days of New York Giants training camp at UAlbany.

Victor Cruz -- Cruz promised during the offseason not to let his celebrity status affect his preparation or his performance. Thus far, he has been true to his word. Cruz' popularity with the fans is obvious, and he has been giving them lots of reasons to cheer and chant his name.

"It's the only way he knows. It's the only thing he knows," said head coach Tom Coughlin, praising Cruz' work ethic. "He's got a lot of pride and he's willing to practice. Practice hard and try to make himself better and he is certainly going to build the confidence of his quarterback, that's for sure."

The only disappointment for fans at UAlbany? Cruz says There will be no salsa dancing during training camp.

Jernigan -- An impressive first four days of camp for the second-year player from Troy. See our post on Jernigan from earlier Tuesday.

Domenik Hixon -- In the absence of Hakeem Nicks, Hixon has been lining up with the first team. He has made a few plays and has been solid, but not spectacular. The most impressive thing? After missing pretty much two full seasons with knee injuries Hixon has practiced every day.

Reuben Randle -- The second-round pick from LSU has shown some flashes of his potential during the first four days.

"I think Reuben has done a good job. I think he has a pretty good understanding of what is going on with the offense, after such a short time of being here," said quarterback Eli Manning. "You see some skill set in his route running, some speed, a toughness also, being physical in his routes, getting open. You see the potential."

Ramses Barden -- The annual winner of the Giants fictitious 'Mr. August' award for his training camp performances -- except for last year when he was on PUP -- has been at it again. His performance thus far has been typical training camp Barden. He has made plenty of short catches against guys like the 5-foot-9 Jayron Hosley and the 5-foot-11 Bruce Johnson, usually against 'off' coverage where he can get a free release from the line of scrimmage and just put his 6-foot-6 body between the cornerback and the ball. He has made only one downfield catch that I can recall.

There was also one play that illustrates where Barden has difficulty. Matched up against Antrel Rolle in a one-on-one drill where Rolle was in 'press' coverage, Barden was never even able to get off the line of scrimmage. Rolle completely stuffed him, and quarterback Ryan Perrilloux never had a chance to throw the ball.

Isiah Stanback -- Stanback has some experience with the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, and has five career catches. He has made some plays during camp, and has good size and 6-foot-2, 208 pounds. I can't figure out how he makes the roster, though.

David Douglas -- Douglas, a 6-1, 205-pound undrafted free agent from Arizona has made himself noticed. He had a good day Monday, including making one nice catch in traffic and setting up Antwuan Molden with a beautiful in-fake before blowing past him to haul in a deep ball. He caught 65 passes for Arizona last season, and is a player to keep an eye on the rest of camp.

Dan DePalma -- Tough kid who spent last season the Giants' practice squad. You have to root for the 5-11 DePalma, a local kid from Verona, N.J. He has made a few plays, but right now it's tough to see how he makes the squad. I am not, however, ruling him out.

Brandon Collins -- Some good, some bad thus far for the undrafted free agent from Southeast Louisiana. Collins excited the Giants during OTAs and mini-camp, but has yet to really stand out during training camp. He has flashed a few times and made a couple of nice catches on short routes Monday, but he has also had a couple of bad drops.

Julian Talley -- Talley is a guy that gets attention because he is an undrafted free agent from UMass, just like Victor Cruz. Unfortunately, Talley has not yet shown the ability to have anything like Cruz's impact. He has barely been noticed the first four days of camp.

Hakeem Nicks Update

Nicks has begun running as he aims for a mid-August return from his broken foot. On a couple of occasion during camp he has been seen doing a limited amount of agility work on a side field.

"There’s no pain right now. I ran on it before. It’s responded very well. There’s no pain, it’s just a matter [of] being smart about it," Nicks said. " I’m just sticking to the script like they said. I definitely want to be out there, but we gotta do the right thing."

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