Originally posted on Big Giants Boom  |  Last updated 7/25/12
When you win the Super Bowl, it is to be expected that you'll lose a couple of key contributors to the title run. More often than not, those pieces can be difficult to replace, especially when one of them is Mario Manningham, the man who made the second legendary Super Bowl catch of the Eli Manning era. In the wake of his unforgettable play and decent season, Super Mario unsurprisingly departed Big Blue for a more lucrative contract and bigger role with the San Francisco 49ers.

Despite his obvious value, with veteran stud Hakeem Nicks and breakout star Victor Cruz forming one of the NFL's most lethal and dynamic wide receiver duos, Manningham was often marginalized during the 2011 season. In spite of this, the new third wide receiver on the Giants is going to be a tremendously important player, as he will have to be okay with being a lower priority option, able to block and make plays off the ball in addition to making the important plays when Nicks or Cruz see double teams. 
Right now, the Giants have Jerrel Jernigan, Ramses Barden, Domenik Hixon and rookie Rueben Randle vying for the job. Each has their own merits, but the training camp battle will likely show the clear favorite early on. 
Jernigan is only in his second year, and has begun to show promise as a return man, but still has some developing to do if he wants to play a role in the offense. It's not that he doesn't have a chance, but it seems unlikely at this point. 

Barden has the advantage of his monstrous 6'6'' frame, but has been wildly disappointing as a project, and likely would have been released long ago if not for his height. This will be his last chance to crack the lineup for major snaps. 
Hixon is the veteran of the group, having played everything for Big Blue from No. 1 receiver, the slot and even kick returns. His experience and 13.3 career yards per catch would make him the clear favorite if not for his injury concerns. Hixon missed all of the 2010 season and 14 games in 2011 after back-to-back ACL tears. The coaching staff will likely want to keep him as a veteran reserve in case of injury, though he does have a chance to earn the third spot in camp. 
Randle enters camp as a rookie, coming from a college (LSU) with some issues at quarterback during his time there. Still, Randle was widely considered a steal when the Giants landed him with the 64th pick in the draft. With his quickness and athleticism, Randle can run routes and make plays on the ball, while his size will allow him to be an effective blocker as well. However, the biggest indicator of Randle being the favorite is that he was the second round draft pick. Jerry Reese probably did not draft a wide receiver in the second round to have him sit behind two previous unproven third rounders and an oft-injured veteran. 
Giants fans should expect to see Randle lining up with the starters in Week 1, but no matter who wins the job in the end, you can bet that he'll have an easy time getting open while playing with Cruz and Nicks. The winner of the job will certainly have to try hard to lose it. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker