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On the rise: Everybody loves Corey Washington

Corey Washington is getting attention from Giants players and coaches as he bids for a spot on the roster.

Alex Trautwig

Want another reason to love Corey Washington, the undrafted free agent wide receiver who has starred for the New York Giants during the early part of the preseason. Check out the maturity and unselfishness of Washington answer Tuesday when I asked him for his favorite from his spectacular Monday practice.

"My favorite play? I want to say when Eli threw the ball across the middle and it almost got picked and I slapped the ball down to prevent the interception," Washington said.

That, to be honest, is an impressive response for a rookie free agent who made a series of spectacular catches while getting first-team reps.

On that play, middle linebacker Jameel McClain stepped in front of a crossing Washington and appeared to have an interception until Washington leaped over him and slapped the ball away.

Washington drew praise from several quarters on Tuesday. The 'is he another Victor Cruz?' question is one that has begun floating around Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Cruz, of course, was an undrafted free agent who became a mega-star.

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said "yeah, I would" when asked if he would be surprised if Washington, from tiny Newberry College, did not make the team.

"He is a guy that came in as one of the smaller school guys, and wasn't getting reps at first and then just exploded," Roders-Cromartie said. "Even in practice he was making some big catches against the ones, twos and threes. It didn't matter who was out there. He tends to find himself jumping over people, so he is definitely a gifted young man."

Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo offered this thought on Washington:

"Corey's a big man that can run and go get the football. That's a good place to start. He's a young guy who has a lot to learn but he's really done some special things over the last week. It'll be exciting to see him grow.

"He's certainly trending up."

Quarterback Eli Manning completed a number of passes to Washington on Monday. Here is Manning on Washington:

"He's made plays. That's obviously what you like to see from a receiver. Can they win those one-on-one match-ups, and he's been able to do that on the fade last week, on the go route the week before. Making a play, jumping over a cornerback, making a catch. He's still got to improve on route-running and techniques and those things, but from a size match-up and play-making ability he's done a good job making some plays."