The New York Giants aren't putting all of their eggs in Victor Cruz's basket. They said as much, then signed special teamer and slot receiver Dwayne Harris to a surprisingly large free agent contract. Between Harris and a cadre of intriguing options on the back end of their roster, will the Giants look to the draft to further deepen their pool of talent at wide receiver?
Rueben Randle's potential impending free agency in addition to Cruz's injury might just force the Giants' hand.
So, let's take a look at a high-upside receiver who could be a late-round pick: Austin Hill of Arizona
- NFL size at 6-foot3, 211 pounds. Knows how to use his size against defenders
- Natural "hands" catcher, who routinely snatches the ball out of the air
- Strength to break arm tackles
- Extremely versatile, played outside receiver, slot receiver, H-Back
- Tenacious blocker in the run or screen game
- Reputation as a "Team First" player
- Father played TE in the NFL for 12 years
- Missed 2013 with a torn ACL
- Can make tacklers miss, but does not have much "twitch" or shiftiness to his game
Does He Fit With The Giants?
If the Giants are looking for a potential discount player who could fill in for Victor Cruz or replace Rueben Randle, then "Yes". However the ACL history pretty much has to give them a pause given the Giants struggles with injuries.
If they're comfortable with his injury history, then his size, catch radius, and mentality are sure to appeal to the Giants and make him a natural fit in Ben McAdoo's offense and the Giants' locker room
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - Not in top 100
Mocking The Draft - Not in top 100
CBS Sports - 188th overall
Draft Countdown - 216th overall
Draft Tek - 189th overall
You'll notice that I don't have much under his "negatives". That's because Hill was considered a top prospect, potentially a 1st rounder, before his injury. From the tape before his injury, he was victimized more by QB play than anything else. Hill is a big, tough, athletic, versatile kid, with reportedly high character. That is sure to appeal to the Giants.
His injury history, however, might knock him down their board if they aren't comfortable with it. He did, however post an impressive pro-day workout, timing a 4.6 second 40, 4.03 second short shuttle, 6.65 second 3-cone drill, 10-9 broad jump, 36.5 inch vertical jump, and 17 reps on the bench press. The injury and resulting dip in production dropped Hill's ranking from a potential first-rounder to a potential late day-3 pick.
However, if he can get his speed back and remain healthy, Hill could be a major steal for a team willing to take a chance.