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2014 NFL Draft

Victor Cruz Says Giants Need Help At Wide Receiver, Suggests Drafting Mike Evans

The New York Giants were among the most active teams in free agency this season, but apparently Victor Cruz believes the team neglected one major area of need.

Victor Cruz
Victor Cruz

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants were among the most active teams in free agency this season, but apparently Victor Cruz believes the team neglected one major area of need.

In an interview with NFL Network’s “Total Access,” Cruz said the Giants “definitely” need help at the split end position. Such a statement not only casts doubt about what he and the team thinks of third-year pro Rueben Randle but may be an indicator of the Giants’ plans in May’s draft.

“(A big-play receiver) is something we need in this offense to be successful,” Cruz said in reference to the 12th overall selection. “I think 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, I think it will be beneficial to us.”

When asked for a name, Cruz provided Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans, widely considered the No. 2 player at the position behind only Sammy Watkins.

Evans is largely considered a top-seven pick, and the latest rumors swirling suggest that the San Francisco 49ers may be mulling a trade with the Oakland Raiders to move into the fifth spot, perhaps to take the highly coveted Evans. It is unlikely Evans slips past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking at No. 7 or the Detroit Lions at No. 10, so the Giants would have to move down if they’re serious about drafting him.

The Giants addressed needs in the backfield, at offensive line and in the secondary this offseason, but veteran Mario Manningham was the lone pass-catcher added to the mix to try and replace the departed Hakeem Nicks.

General manager Jerry Reese has refused to endorse Randle as a true No. 1 wideout this offseason, saying the “jury is still out” on him.

Cruz, apparently, is under the same impression, which is why he is petitioning the Giants to draft a wide receiver next month.

“I try to stay far away from these decisions as a player, but I’ll be true to you,” Cruz said. “If I had my choice, if I had my pick, I think I’d go receiver. I think we should go receiver.

“I think we definitely need some help especially losing a guy like Hakeem Nicks, a big play guy in our offense. I know last year didn’t dictate that but during his tenure with us, he was a big-play guy, big receiver, that got down the field, stretched the field.”

The Giants tend not to make many draft-day moves, so it’s a bit of a stretch to think the team will make the leap from No. 12 down to perhaps No. 5. Though since the Giants have failed to give Manning a lot of weapons in the receiving corps, it cannot be ruled out.

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