The New York Giants have found their No. 1 wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. in last year's NFL draft, but then as the football gods would have it their other franchise wide receiver, Victor Cruz, tore his patellar tendon and may never be the same player he was. Now, once again, they enter the season with uncertainty at the wide receiver position despite spending a number of resources on the position. If Cruz comes back a trio of Randle, Cruz, Bekcham Jr. is more than enough to scare defenses, but if Cruz is not the same the Giants will need another receiving option. Today we look at an unconventional option when we check out Devin Funchess WR/TE Michigan Wolverines.
- Size, size, size. Funhcess is listed at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds.
- Good athlete. He was a track star in high school and can run pretty fast and jump high.
- Match-up nightmare. He's too fast for linebackers and too big for cornerbacks
- Big hands and provides the quarterback some leeway with his large catching radius
- Red-zone target.
- Willing blocker
- Doesn't have a natural position. Is he a tight end or wide receiver? Is he both? Is he neither?
- Although he has the size advantage he doesn't play with the phyiscality of a smaller player like Anquan Boldin or a bigger player like DemaryiusThomas.
- He loafs in his routes and will allow more savvy NFL veterans to undercut his routes. Good athlete doesn't always mean "fluid NFL athlete."
- Inconsistent hands. Makes great catches, but misses on too many opportunities.
- Doesn't offer as much as you'd like after the catch
Player comparison: Kelvin Benjamin
Does He Fit With the Giants?
That's THE question with Devin Funchess? Where does he fit with anybody? Is he a move tight end or more of a big slot possession wide receiver who offers some ability to make plays down field and should be a viable red-zone threat?Funchess might not ever be a guy who produces consistently because he currently lacks the ability to create separation with his routes, but he is a guy who can make a number of big plays. The Giants have Larry Donnell as a red-zone threat. And Randle/Beckham, but they could use another red-zone threat.
Big Board Rankings
CBS Sports - 32nd
Big Blue View- 41st
Mocking The Draft - 34th
Draft Tek - 29th
Funchess is a big receiving target who can move well enough in a straight line to make big plays down the field. He's not big enough right now to be a tight end and he's too big to be a guy who can create separation in the NFL from cornerbacks. Funchess will have to win a lot of contested catches in the NFL, which makes him a better option to be a big time red-zone threat. That is similar to what Kelvin Benjamin had to prove and he did. He's a guy that makes sense for the Giants if the value is there which I think it is in maybe the second, but definitely the third round. The team that drafts Funchess will have to learn how to use his abilities to their advantage because he does have some qualities that are terrific.
For more information on Funchess here is a great breakdown by Matt Waldman. I think the Giants will consider a wide receiver in the draft, and it's possible they do so in the first two days, but my hunch is they are looking more for a slot guy then they would be an outside guy.