The New York Giants have an opening for a reserve wide receiver who could perhaps return kickoffs and punts. Kalif Raymond, who held the return jobs for a time last season, is one of the players competing for that role. Let’s take a look at Raymond as we continue our journey through the Giants’ 90-man roster.
Position: Wide receiver/kick returner
2017 season in review
The Giants were one of three teams Raymond played for last season. After playing in four games for the Denver Broncos in 2016, the former undrafted free agent was waived at the end of the 2017 preseason. Raymond was awarded to the New York Jets via waivers, but they cut him after he fumbled three times on returns in just two games.
Raymond then joined the Giants’ practice squad and, with Dwayne Harris out for the year and the team hoping to find an upgrade from Ed Eagan in the return game, was added to the 5-man roster in mid-November.
Raymond really wasn’t terribly impressive. He averaged just 4.7 yards on 13 punt returns and 16.9 yards on 11 kickoff returns. His ball security issues continued, as he fumbled twice more. Near the end of the season, Raymond was replaced on returns by Hunter Sharp. Raymond caught one pass for 12 yards last season, his only reception in 12 NFL games over two years.
A former football and track star at Holy Cross, Raymond has speed that will continue to get him chances in the NFL. He ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at his Pro Day in 2016. Per Pro Player Insiders, Raymond holds Holy Cross records in both the 60 (6.95) and 100 (10.71) meter dashes.
The punt and kickoff return jobs do appear to be open for the Giants entering training camp, though Sharp had a far more impressive spring than Raymond. Cody Latimer and Saquon Barkley could also be in the mix on kickoff returns. It is unclear who else might be part of the competition.
To have any chance of emerging with a roster spot, Raymond will have to prove that he has solved his fumbling issues.