Two years ago, an unknown wide receiver named Victor Cruz destroyed Rex Ryan's defense and emerged out of nowhere in a preseason game between the Giants and Jets.
Now the Giants are searching for another receiver to emerge as a third threat to go along with Hakeem Nicks and Cruz. And Domenik Hixon, Jerrel Jernigan, Ramses Barden and Rueben Randle could all use a stellar performance against the Jets to stake their claim to replacing Mario Manningham.
But unless one person runs away with the competition and shines in the next three preseason games, the Giants could very well fill that third receiver spot by committee. It's conceivable that they could start the trusted veteran Hixon as the third receiver but then bring in Jernigan, Barden and Randle in certain situations.
"I think some guys do some things better than others," Eli Manning said when asked about filling the third receiver spot by committee. "Depending on the route, on the concepts, on where you want to put that player ... whether that receiver is going to be playing inside or outside, you can decide who's going to be in that situation.
"I think that's why you usually carry six receivers, so you can put guys in certain spots, have them do what they do best."
A good showing on Saturday against the Jets could go a long way for one of those receivers in the competition for the third receiver spot.
"I don't know if there's just one guy right now," Manning said when asked if any of the guys competing for the third spot has jumped out to him. "Obviously, Hixon is a guy who has been around, knows the offense well. I thought Ramses has done a good job.
"And with Jernigan and Rueben competing for that third spot, young guys ... I think these preseason games are big, when you see them against live action, against good corners, see their releases, and see if they're doing a good job getting open."
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