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Friday, September 11, 2009
Giants' depth chart at WR a work in progress

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


As we've long suspected, it looks like Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon and Mario Manningham will begin the season as the Giants' top three wide receivers. But offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride indicated Thursday that some of the other wide receivers could play a much larger role as the season unfolds.

"Certainly, a lot of questions have been answered in our minds," Gilbride said. "Please understand I don't want to necessarily acknowledge it to them exactly what we're doing and who's going to be where, but some things have clarified themselves and some things are definitely still ongoing. Quite candidly, I think some guys are in a position to play more this Sunday, but as the year goes on, maybe other guys will become more and more an integral part of what we're doing. At least that's kind of what I think is going to happen."

Reading between the lines: I think Hakeem Nicks will crack the starting lineup in October if he continues his steady rise. I think Smith and Hixon will do a fine job as the starters, but Nicks has game-breaking qualities. The Giants are fortunate to have enough depth to sort of bring Nicks and Ramses Barden along at their own pace. Of course, that could change in a hurry if Smith and Hixon don't make some plays early in the season.

As I watched former Rutgers star Kenny Britt line up for the Titans on Thursday, you could tell the team had no other choice but to lean on him pretty heavily. I think Gilbride will do that with Nicks at some point this season, but he doesn't want to rush it.

So which receivers do you think Tom Coughlin will take to the game Sunday? He's obviously not going to have all seven guys active. Derek Hagan's a good special-teams player, so I think he'll be active. Perhaps Barden's the odd man out early in the season. What do you guys think? Sinorice Moss?