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Giants’ 90-man roster: UDFA Alex Wesley competing for wide receiver spot

Former 400-meter runner trying to go from track star to NFL player

NFL: New York Giants-OTA
Alex Wesley
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Washington. Amba Etta-Tawo. Ben Edwards. Roger Lewis Jr. Anthony Dable. Darius Powe. Marcus Harris. Jawill Davis.

What did all of these former New York Giants have in common? At one point or another they, or at least fans of the Giants, thought they were destined to be the next Victor Cruz. To be the next undrafted free agent to become a superstar wide receiver for the Giants.

Well, none of them ever became that. In fact, none of them ever became much of anything in the NFL. That’s because doing what Cruz did isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen very often.

Heading into training camp, the Giants have two wide receivers — Alex Wesley of Northern Colorado and Reggie White Jr. of Monmouth — who hope to be the next Cruz.

Today we focus on Wesley as we near the end of our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.

The basics

Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 190
Age: 23
Position: Wide receiver
Experience: 0

How he got here

During the beginning of his collegiate career at Northern Colorado, Wesley was known as a track guy who played football. In 22 games from 2014-2016 he caught only 44 passes, albeit seven of them for touchdowns.

Meanwhile, in 2014 and 2015 Wesley was the Big Sky Conference outdoor champion in the 400-meter dash.

That changed over Wesley’s final two seasons. In 2017, he caught 55 passes for 1,010 yards (18.4 yards per catch) and six touchdowns. He backed that up in 2018 with 57 catches for 1,050 yards (again 18.4 per catch) and four scores.

That production and a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine weren’t enough to get Wesley drafted.

The Giants wanted him badly enough that they gave him a $15,000 signing bonus and $85,000 in guaranteed money. Only linebacker Josiah Tauaefa ($15K bonus, $95K guaranteed salary) got more among undrafted Giants.

2019 outlook

The Giants obviously don’t have Odell Beckham Jr., but they do seem to have excellent depth at wide receiver entering training camp.

Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, Darius Slayton and probably Corey Coleman should be considered roster locks. Solid cases can be made for veterans Bennie Fowler and Russell Shepard. Then, of course White and second-year man Alonzo Russell are around.

Wesley seemed to have a quiet spring — White made more splash plays. He will have to step up his play in training camp and the preseason to earn a roster spot.