A rookie in 2012, Randle finished his otherwise forgettable first campaign—one where he had 19 receptions for 298 yards and three touchdowns–with an excellent two-touchdown reception performance in a Week 17 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Once hyped by Marshall Faulk as a “beast”, Randle enters 2013 with the opportunity to clinch a position as the Giants no. 3 wide receiver behind starters Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.
Other than Cruz and Nicks, Randle faces competition from Ramses Barden, Louis Murphy, and Jerrel Jernigan. However, the speedster Murphy is the wideout that poses the biggest threat to the second-year Giant.
Entering the league in 2009, Murphy has 1707 career receiving yards. Moreover, he has more experience playing in different systems in the ever-changing Oakland Raiders’ offense and the Carolina Panthers during the 2012 season.
Barden has shown flashes of brilliance also. In particular, he was briefly labeled as the Giants’ permanent solution to the departure of Mario Manningham after he caught nine passes for 138 yards against the Panthers in 2012.
But he was released by the Giants earlier this offseason, and his re-signing came in the wake of a tenuous contract situation with Victor Cruz.
The Giants were in the upper half of the league in 2012 in passing yards, placing 12th overall with 239.1 yards per game. Furthermore, they were sixth in scoring with 26.8 points per game. Needless to say, things could have been much worse.
But a lack of a consistent third option at wide receiver saw the Giants offense show signs of inconsistency as Barden had just 220 yards in 2012. This should be compared to Manningham’s 523 receiving yards during his final season in New York.
Everything seems to point in the direction of Randle’s contribution being raised, but it is necessary for him to beat out many veterans in order to achieve his “beast” potential.