Originally written on Big Giants Boom  |  Last updated 8/16/12

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 21: Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants tries to break the tackle of Dimitri Patterson of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 21, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Tom Uddo
BGB Correspondent

One of the biggest questions coming into the 2012 NFL season for the New York Giants was who would join the tandem of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks to complete the passing-threat trio? With the departure of Mario Manningham to the San Francisco 49ers, the defending Super Bowl champions are desperate for someone to claim the third wide-receiver position.

With many questioning the Giants selection in the first round, choosing running-back David Wilson from Virginia Tech. with the 32nd overall pick, they may have acquired a diamond in the rough in their second selection.

New York Giants rookie wide receiver Rueben Randle (shown) will have a huge impact for the defending champions. Behind Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, Randle completes a dominant trio of receivers for the offensive unit. (Photo Credit: US PRESSWIRE)
After 62 picks, the Giants had one thing on their mind, bolstering their air game. They did just that, drafting wide-receiver Rueben Randle out of Louisiana State University (LSU), who is considered one of the best prospects in his draft class and will make a huge impact as the Giants seek to defend their crown.

Randle, who came into the spotlight after a stellar junior season (53 catches, 917 yards, eight touchdowns) is known for his tremendous route-running, athleticism and strong hands. At 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds, many believe he is a clone of Hakeem Nicks, with long arms and big hands, he has the ability to win contested balls. Randle's bread-and-butter is the shoulder fake that he used countless times last season to beat receivers and accelerate to get open down the field. While he does not have the speed to outrun the top cornerbacks in the league, Randle's vision is outstanding, picking apart the opponent's secondary every chance he gets and may break a tackle here-and-there.


The Giants witnessed Randle's effectiveness in the redzone last week in their first preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, catching a six yard pass for a touchdown. With opponents focusing on Nicks and Cruz, Randle is going to have the opportunity to make a name for himself. Not only at the wide receiver position, but Randle may also get time as a punt returner after a lackluster performance by third round selection cornerback Jayron Hosley who muffed a punt that led to a Jaguar touchdown.
 
The difficult part for Randle will be getting to know the Giants playbook, a tough task for any rookie, especially one that is highly touted and is pressured to step up to the NFL-level very quickly. Randle told the media after Saturday's preseason that he is getting used to the playbook, but needs more time. “Still a little gray areas that I could work on, but for the most part I am picking up on it pretty well," he said.

Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has noticed that with rookie wideouts, including Randle, you can see them remembering the route patterns after the snap. "There is so much thinking going on," said Gilbride. "You can see it slows him down."

If Randle has a good grasp of the playbook, he can add to the Giants offensive core and have a huge impact this upcoming season. A rookie that was projected to go in the late first round fell into the Giants lap and they are going to take full advantage of the skills and abilities that Randle possesses during a time in which they need a receiver to standout and grab the role behind Nicks and Cruz.
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