New York Giants 2012 NFL Draft Profile: Fresno State WR Devon Wylie

By Jeff Shull

Welcome to another edition of the New York Giants 2012 NFL Draft profile series, today’s version will highlight Fresno State wide receiver Devon Wylie.

The Giants have not made it a secret they are targeting wide receivers in the draft. Unless it is some ploy to throw off the other GMs, the Giants have had a few wide receivers in for visits, including Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu.

Wylie was also brought in for a look this weekend, among many others.

The Giants need to find someone to replace Mario Manningham as the team’s third wide receiver. The person who fills that void could very well already be on the roster.

Or it could be someone like Wylie.

Domenik Hixon, Jerrel Jernigan, and Ramses Barden will compete for that third wide receiver spot. The Giants expected a breakout campaign from Hixon last year before a torn ACL ended his season for the second straight year.

They may not be able to count on Hixon given his obvious injury concerns.

Jernigan did not get much time as a wide receiver last season, but that could definitely change with the losses of both Manningham and Devin Thomas. He and Barden have never gotten much of a shot, it could be their time to shine.

If the Giants choose to bring in someone like Wylie, however, I’d expect him to immediately compete for the job considering his success in the slot as well as the return game for Fresno State.

Wylie has drawn multiple comparisons to New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker. He ran a sub 4.4 at the combine and is built similar to Welker at 5’9”, 187 lbs.

Much like Welker, Wylie is not afraid to go over the middle, hits his top speed quickly after catches, can fight off jams inside, and makes quick, precise cuts in his routes. He would work very well in the slot for the Giants, allowing Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to stay on the outsides.

Wylie also offers an added bonus in the return game as he averaged over 15 yards per punt return in 2011. He has been shooting up draft boards all year long, and may have an inside track to the Giants as his QB was none other than Derek Carr, younger brother to Giants backup QB David Carr.

The Giants could be looking to add another combo wide receiver/kick returner like Wylie after the loss of kick return man D. Thomasand punt returner Aaron Ross. Jernigan is the same type of player as Wylie, but it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan.

Check out this awesome video of Wylie’s punt return versus Nebraska.

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