The Giants got very little out of wide receiver Hakeem Nicks the last two years, which led the Giants to put forth very little effort to stop him from leaving as a free agent and offered a big reminder of how much better the Giants offense looks with an outside receiver drawing the attention of the defense.
One player who certainly agrees with that is Victor Cruz. Cruz burst to stardom while drawing a lot of single coverage out of the slot because Nicks was a bigger concern for opposing defenses, but saw his productivity dip in 2013 as defenses stopped worrying about Nicks and other Giants targets. On NFL Network Thursday, Cruz lobbied for the team to draft another receiver capable of putting up big numbers outside in the first round.
“A [big-play receiver] is something we need in this offense to be successful,” Cruz said. “An outside guy that can do the job and that can help fuel all the other receivers in the locker room and put some fire up under them to get them where they have to be.”
Cruz said Texas A&M’s Mike Evans fit the bill as the kind of receiver he’d like to see join him on the Giants offense and the Giants would probably be thrilled to see Evans still on the board when they are ready to make the 12th pick in the first round. That seems unlikely, though, and the Giants may not be able to grant Cruz’s wish for receiver help until later in the draft.