|Braylon Edwards||Anquan Boldin|
Early in the off-season, speculation about the New York Giants search for a No. 1 wide receiver not named Plaxico Burress centered on Arizona's Anquan Boldin.
Lately the hot name, and the guy many are saying the Giants are after, is Cleveland's Braylon Edwards.
I don't think Giants' fans would complain about acquiring either one of these two playmaking wide receivers. But, considering that the price will be high -- probably a couple of draft picks and maybe a player -- for either, which guy would you rather have?
Boldin, who will be 29 this season, is a 6-foot-1, 218-pound six-year veteran. He has two 100+plus catch seasons to his credit, and two other years in which he caught more than 80 passes.
He is a physical presence, but is more of a catch-and-run possession receiver who specializes in creating big plays after catching short passes. For his career, Boldin averages 12.9 yards per catch.
Edwards, 26, is a 6-foot-3, 211-pound four-year veteran. He is a tremendously talented player, but has had only one truly big season. That was 2007, when he caught 80 passes, 16 for touchdowns.
Edwards was inconsistent in 2008, catching only 55 passes, 3 for touchdowns, and acquiring a reputation for dropping too many balls. How much of that was his fault, and how much was due to Cleveland's quarterback issues?
Edwards may not be as consistent as Boldin, but he is more of a big-play threat. For his career, he averages, 15.6 yards per catch.
Matt Bowen of The National Football Post makes an impassioned case for why it takes a No. 1 receiver to win championships in the NFL.
Without Plaxico Burress, they’re a one-dimensional team without big-play ability down the field — and that doesn’t win championships at this level....
The windows of opportunity most of teams have in this league are small, and the Giants are right in the middle of that window without a key part.
In my opinion, the Giants are desperate at the position, further turning Burress’ actions into utter disaster and bringing a sense of panic to the Meadowlands. As I’ve written before, this is a business about winning, and that’s it. When you play on a playoff team that doesn’t make the Super Bowl, the first thing management does is find the parts to prevent it from happening the next season.
And the “part” in New York is a No.1 receiver who can make Eli Manning look like an All-Pro — just as Burress did.
Bowen also believes Edwards is the better fit for the Giants' offense.
I can see the reasons for choosing Edwards over Boldin — not from a talent standpoint because Boldin is special — but because Edwards is similar to Burress. He is big, strong and has big-play ability on the outside, while Boldin is a catch-and-run guy. Get the ball to him in space and let him do his thing, which is fun to watch.
But I played against this offense in my career, and Edwards is a guy who can run the curl routes, the post routes and the deep dig routes — using his big body — to shed defenders and go after even the most off-target throws from Manning. New York’s big plays on the outside come from Manning throwing it up against man coverage to a receiver who is physically dominant over the cornerback.
Burress gave the Giants that luxury — and I think Edwards would as well.
So, if the Giants choose to trade for one of these two high-profile wide receivers which one would you rather see in a Giants' uniform?