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Giants’ Roger Lewis has fight on his hands at wide receiver

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Can he hold off the competition this summer?

NFL: New York Giants-OTA
Roger Lewis runs after a catch during OTAs.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Will Roger Lewis Jr. ascend as a wide receiver for the New York Giants? Or, will the hard-to-figure 24-year-old get left behind by a new wave of unheralded receivers fighting for roster spots this summer?

Let’s look at Lewis as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.

The basics

Height: 6-feet
Weight: 203
Position: WR
Experience: 2

2017 season in review

With Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris out for the year, and Sterling Shepard in and out of the lineup, there were times last season when Lewis was the closest thing the Giants had to a No. 1 receiver.

Only, Lewis is not a No. 1 receiver. At best, he should be a third or fourth receiving option in an offense. He can occasionally make a splash play, but consistency has been missing. He caught 36 passes in 72 targets last season, a not good enough 50 percent completion rate. For his career, he has caught only 43 of 91 targets, just 47.3 percent. Considering that most quarterbacks complete more than 60 percent of passes (Eli Manning completed 61.6 percent last season). It follows that you can argue throwing the ball in Lewis’s direction has proven inefficient.

Lewis, of course, does have talent. It allows him to occasionally do things like this:

Which only makes you wonder why he hasn’t been more productive.

2018 outlook

The Giants appear intent on using a fair amount of ‘12’ personnel in 2018, which means two tight ends and only two wide receivers. Still, there will be plenty of opportunities for a third wide receiver.

Lewis has competition from Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, Hunter Sharp, Amba Etta-Tawo and Travis Rudolph for that role. Latimer, Sharp and even Etta-Tawo were getting first-team reps at the end of the spring. Lewis was not.

His two season of experience and the fact that he has performed well as a punt gunner on special teams are advantages. Lewis, though, is going to have to step up his game in training camp because there are a number of wolves at his door looking to take his job.