In early 2008, former Michigan receiver Mario Manningham was regarded as a possible first-round draft pick.
But then came a report of two failed marijuana tests in college, a denial by Manningham, and later a written admission sent to all 32 teams.
And then came a score of six on the 50-question Wonderlic test.
Concerns regarding his intelligence were compounded by his visits to some teams. In one NFL city, coaches were alarmed by Manningham’s inability to comprehend the basic system of assigning pass routes to receivers with three single-digit numbers applying to the X, Y, and Z receivers.
As a result, Manningham plunged to the third round.
During his rookie year with the Giants, he caught four total passes for 26 yards and no touchdowns.
On Sunday night in Dallas, Manningham caught 10 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown.
Coupled with 10 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown from teammate Steve Smith, the Giants’ passing game is suddenly in very good shape, one day before Plaxico Burress commences his two-year prison term.
Things will get interesting once Domenik Hixon returns from a sprained knee suffered last week and Hakeem Nicks comes back from a sprained foot suffered last week. But Manningham — and Smith — seized the spotlight during one of the biggest early-season games that the NFL has seen in years, and in all fairness they deserve to get more chances to show what they can do.