With Hakeem Nicks' chances of returning to the Giants next season "close to zero," in-house youngsters such as Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan are expected to pick up the slack. One person with such expectations is Giants general manager Jerry Reese.
Via NFL.com's Chris Wesseling, Reese said Saturday that he is confident Randle will make a "significant jump" in 2014, and that Jernigan "finally looked like the player" who the team selected in the third round of the 2011 draft.
Randle, a second-round pick in 2012, caught 41 passes this season. He had a six-week span in the middle of the year in which he scored five of his six touchdowns. Jernigan came on late in the season as he caught 19 passes for 237 yards and three total touchdowns in the final three games.
Victor Cruz is the rock in this receiving corps. Randle and Jernigan can be solid complementary players if they can carry what they displayed in short bursts this season through a 16-game slate. And considering the year that Nicks just had, they can't be any worse, and they'll come much cheaper. Eli Manning has plenty of concerns after such a horrid campaign, but losing the injury-plagued Nicks shouldn't be one of them.