Unless you are a New York Giants fan, you are probably unfamiliar with Jerrel Jernigan, a receiver selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Troy. He was a guy that the Giants organization thought could come right in and become the player he was in college. However, he was ill fit for the NFL over his first two seasons, and was battling to just obtain a roster spot on the Giants this year.
Due to the play of teammate Victor Cruz, Jernigan didn’t have the opportunity to come in and gain experience on the field in his rookie and sophomore seasons, and had to develop in his limited time during practice.
In 2013, Jernigan obtained a position on the field as a kick returner, and has done a decent job thus far. However, as the Giants have struggled to gain a rhythm on offense this season, the receiver has gotten some reps in the slot, and he has made the most of it. In the embarrassing loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Jernigan was a lone bright spot from the offense’s dismal showing with a stat line of seven receptions for 67 yards.
Could he be Eli Manning‘s new slot receiver in 2014? He most certainly can, and probably will.
With Hakeem Nicks‘ terrible play in 2013, the Giants may be hard-pressed to re-sign their former star receiver to a big contract, and will hold out to save money and work on the receiving corps from inside. Jernigan has certainly showed he is a capable receiver, and the more experience he gains, the better he will be in years to come.