It’s been slightly difficult to gauge individual players on the New York Giants‘ offense this preseason due to their lack of success. However, combine the preseason with training camp and there have certainly been a few standouts.
Wide receiver Marcus Harris has led the Giants in receptions in two of their three preseason games. He caught four passes for 49 yards in the Hall of Fame Game against the Bills and finished last week’s game against Indianapolis with four receptions for 41 yards.
Harris, who recently turned 25 years old, has had a long and unique journey trying to secure a spot on an NFL roster. He was signed by the Detroit Lions in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of Murray State. After being cut by the Lions, and then the Tennesse Titans the next season, Harris wound up in the UFL with the Iowa Barnstormers.
Harris played one season with Barnstormers, before being scooped up by the Giants last August. He spent last year on New York’s practice squad and is now trying to make the final leap onto the roster.
Tom Coughlin will, reportedly, be keeping six wide receivers on this year’s roster, as oppose to the five the Giants kept last year.
Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. are all locks, and Jerrel Jernigan is almost definitely going to keep a spot despite his lackluster performance this preseason.
That leaves Harris, Corey Washington, Mario Manningham and return specialist Trindon Holliday fighting for two spots.
You have to like Washington’s chances, considering his size, 6-foot-4, and his athleticism. He has also caught the game-winning touchdown in each of New York’s three preseason games so far, which is hard to ignore no matter who it came against.
On the other side, veterans Manningham and Holliday, both signed as free agents, have been hampered by injuries this offseason. Manningham continues to try and work his way back from torn ligaments in his left knee and simply does not seem to be the receiver he once was.
If Holliday makes the team, it would likely be as a return specialist, but New York has other options in that area. The Giants may not want to devote a roster spot to a player who would only appear on special teams. Also, Holliday has been battling an injured hamstring and is yet to appear in a preseason game.
Expect these final two preseason games as the last part of this offseason audition. Harris and Washington have to be the leaders for the last two spots right now based on the way they have performed in both practice and game situations. However, anything can happen and neither receiver can afford to let up just because they have played well to this point.