Because of contract disputes this offseason, New York Giants receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks missed OTAs this spring. But there was a positive to come out of it: It gave second-year wideout Rueben Randle a chance to step up and impress the coaching staff.
And he did exactly that.
The former second round pick received rave reviews on his performances in minicamp from Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. “Rueben you saw emerge from a guy that showed flashes at times and always caught the ball well, but maybe didn’t run the routes as precisely, as crisply as you wanted, didn’t have quite the understanding you wanted,” said Gilbride. “Over the past month he looked like a guy that’s been here for five or six years. He really benefited from the opportunity,” referring to the opportunity Randle had to take first-team reps in the absence of the team’s star receivers.
Last season, Giants fans witnessed flashes of the Randle’s potential, as the receiver hauled in 19 catches for 256 yards and three touchdowns. He was the Giants’ No. 4 receiver behind Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon, but that may change this season.
It was reported that Rueben Randle has been wowing staff and fans in training camp. With Hakeem Nicks limited, due to tightness in his groin, Randle has once again been stepping up, making coach Coughlin very happy.
With Randle stepping up in practices and making plays, he showed he’s ready to take on a greater role with the offense. Randle has the potential to be one of the Giants’ main weapons, and may need to fill that role if it doesn’t work out between Hakeem Nicks and the Giants, if/when the receiver tests the market after this season.
At 6’2″, 210 pounds, Randle has the size and is capable of moving the chains. The receiver has good hands and can run good routes, what he doesn’t have, though, is the speed. Although Randle isn’t as explosive as Nicks, and isn’t capable of stretching the field with his speed, he can run crisp routes and get yards after the catch; he is also a good blocker, and he has the strength to get physical with cornerbacks.
If Nicks can’t stay healthy this season, Randle’s role will surely be increased, giving him the opportunity to produce this year and beyond—especially if Nicks asks for big money in the offseason.