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New York Giants’ Jerrel Jernigan Excited for Opportunity to Prove Himself

March 19th, 2012 at 2:49 PM
By Dan Benton

Wide receiver Mario Manningham has yet to officially sign his new contract with the San Francisco 49ers, but that hiccup aside, it remains highly unlikely that he returns to the New York Giants. Instead, Big Blue appears poised to head into the 2012-2013 season with Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan battling for the #3 spot.

A healthy Hixon would seemingly lead the charge and be the man to beat in such a scenario, but going into his second season with the team, Jernigan actually feels like he's the man whose job it is to lose.

"It’s pretty much a business now and I’m thankful for the opportunity to go out there and show everybody what I can do. I’m thankful that Coach Coughlin and Jerry Reese are giving me an opportunity to step up to the plate and be the next man," Jernigan said. "Coach will do the evaluation in the offseason and during camp and stuff so we’ll see … but I’m approaching it like I’m the third receiver.”

In his first year with the team, Jernigan hauled in a grant total of 0 catches for 0 yards. However, if you're looking for a silver lining there, it's the same stat-line produced by Victor Cruz in his first season with the team. Then again, Cruz finished his first season playing five fewer games and eventually ended up on Injured Reserve (IR).

If Jernigan is serious about this opportunity, and it'd be foolish to believe he wasn't, the first thing he'll have to do is prepare and produce well enough to shed the nickname given to him by head coach Tom Cough: One Play JJ.

Is this another incredible success story waiting to happen? Time will tell, but you've got to love his confidence.

Also…

Tags: Domenik Hixon, Football, Jerrel Jernigan, Mario Manningham, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Ramses Barden, Victor Cruz

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44 Responses to “New York Giants’ Jerrel Jernigan Excited for Opportunity to Prove Himself”

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    Norm on Peyton – I just don’t see many Denver positives player wise over Tenn on offense. Clady is a very good LT but so is Roos at Tenn. The Denver RB aren’t anything. McGahee had a great year but I wouldn’t bet he can come close to repeating that and his age and the kid from Georgia has been a bust so far. Thomas is a nice building block at WR but still not Britt IMO. Decker is alright but JAG. There’s nothing at TE. Clark is old.

    I’m of the opinion that picking a team because a division is thought to be weak is silly. The NFL changes too much year to year to base a decision on assuming a divion will be weak. Oakland, SD and KC could all be very formidable.

    I agree is his relationship with Elway was a factor but money and power to me are the overwhelming factors. I think Denver had the most cap space and was all in money wise because Elways knew this was the only way he could get rid of Tebow without being hated in Denver.

    •  norm says:

      Fair enough.

      But I’ll continue to stand by my earlier belief that Peyton Manning probably has a much better idea as to what’s best for Peyton Manning than does norm, G101 blogger par excellence.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    I would be worried if Jernigan was thinking any other way.

  3.  JimStoll says:

    skeptical about Jernigan
    at 5′ 8″ and 185 with an ok but not scintillating 40 (4.45) he will only thrive in Gilbride’s system if he is a terrific route runner, a great reader of defenses and can avoid getting hit

  4.  Nosh says:

    Said it all along that our #3 WR is still sitting on the free agent market and his name is Steve Smith.

    Has ever a WR had more chemistry with Eli than Smith?

    Dude could immediately come in and play. Knows the offense and Eli better than anyone.

    The only problem, and its a big one…….$$$

    As for Peyton picking the Broncos, I think John Fox had a good deal to do with it. I’ll be rooting for Denver, so long as we’re not playing them.

    •  norm says:

      It would have to be an uber-cheap deal because I suspect Smith might be toast, physically.

      He may have been able to come back at close to 100% this year had he heeded the Giant MDs advice and sat out most of last year. But he chased the quick buck, put stress on his rebuilt knee before it was ready to handle it, and wound up back on IR by season’s end. Who knows how much more damage he may have incurred by coming back too soon?

      I think it’s somewhat telling that we have not heard Smith’s name linked to any teams as of yet. My hunch is that his market value is nothing more than a vet minimum player, if that, at this point.

      •  giantsfan says:

        What do you think Smith was thinking when he was watching the NYG win another superbowl? I wonder if he was cheering them on, or hoping they fail.

        I have to believe, even tho he’s on the rival team, sitting at home, knowing your new team is probably dont with you, and having played for four years with the NYG, and winning a ring, he must have been rooting for us.

      •  GmenMania says:

        On the contrary, Smith has been linked to the Rams. He visited them and they gave him a physical.

    •  Grateful Giants says:

      Idk, I think $. $mith would get batteries thrown at him in Giants stadium if he came back, and in Philly, may be worth it for his own health to go to STL where he can be the slow WR on a no WR staff…

  5.  giantsfan says:

    I am also skeptical about Jernigan. I’m not sure if he has the enough skills and game-breaking ability to overcome his lack in physical size.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Two things about Jernigan give me some comfort.

    First, he showed in the preseason in the few opportunities he had that he has an ability to “play bigger”. He has that same ability to go get the ball that Nicks and Cruz display and that allows them to out-battle big corners and safeties for the ball in the air. Watch the preseason game last year when he finally got receiving duties even after screwing up on catching punts and you’ll see what I mean.

    Second, the Giants’ scouting group thought he was worthy of a third round pick despite his coming from a small program and being undersized. That group is so good that in order to move Jernigan that high on their board they had to think EXTREMELY highly of him, because there were still plenty of other options out there for them when they selected him.

    I’m pretty confident the kid is good.

    Having said that, let’s not forget that Domenik Hixon, despite the faulty memories of many here, was very good as the #3 receiver in 2008. What has colored everyone’s view of him is that he struck out completely as the X-receiver when they asked him to replace Burress after that moron plugged himself. Matched up against the third best corners on defenses Hixon is very effective. If he is really back to full health (a big “if”) then he won’t be easy to beat out for the spot. If Jernigan manages that then he will have earned it. The Giants, rightly, love Hixon and would like to keep him on the roster, but probably are hoping for more than a special teams performer from him. The thing we should keep in mind when thinking about Hixon are that great catch on which he suffered his injury against the Seahawks, and memories of his hitting the seam quickly and breaking off some great punt returns, something the Giants have seen little of from anyone other than him for five years.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I’m a Hixon fan too. I though all along last year he would be our 3rd WR. I have much great doubts this year and because of Jernigan. I think Hixon has incured back to back serious injuries and his effectiveness is in real doubt going forward.

    •  JimStoll says:

      all fair points, but the same scouts drafted Barden 2 and Beckum 3 and they have been less than stellar
      the one thing for sure is that both will get a serious look in the off-season and then in pre-season
      absent the emergence of someone unknown, such as a top 4 draft pick, I suspect both Barden and Jernigan will make the final 53, along with Nicks and Cruz, Thomas and Hixon
      if Hixon’s knee is solid off the second surgery — potentially iffy — he likely has the leg up
      I still think Barden has a shot but this is the last go-around for him I suspect
      Jenigan has at least this season and next to show what he’s got

  7.  norm says:

    And this time last year, 95% of this board was skeptical that Cruz would bring anything to the party, either.

    Just sayin’.

    •  giantsfan says:

      I knew someone would eventually point this out. Just because there are so many cruz’es out there.

      •  norm says:

        Hey, I’m not suggesting that Jernigan will be the second coming of Cruz.

        Luckily, he does not have to be. All the Giants need is someone who plays well enough to be the #3 receiver on this team. That role can be filled by a good player who’s not necessarily a Pro Bowler.

        The bottom line is fans are skeptical of Cruz for the same reason they are now skeptical of Jernigan. We are ALWAYS skeptical of unknown players. We’re instinctively more comfortable with the “names” with which we are familiar. That’s why this board melted down en masse in April 2010 when Reese selected a relatively unknown, untested DE out of South Florida as the 15th overall pick.

        •  giantsfan says:

          Very true. I think we’re just haunted by Sinorice Moss’ ghost…

        •  fanfor55years says:

          Remember my response to that pick? I was melting, but with joy. I didn’t know a bloody thing about JPP other than that crazy video, but I KNEW when I saw Reese’s and Ross’ response to reporters after that pick that we had a great one. I remember both of them having to literally stop themselves from breaking out in giggles. It was so clear that they knew what they had and were astonished he had fallen to them.

          And that is EXACTLY why I am pretty confident about Jernigan. I know nothing about his college career, never looked at his game tapes, had never heard of him prior to last April. But I liked what I saw, and even more importantly, I trust Reese/Ross and their staffs. They’ve earned that. Jerrel was a third round pick!! He’s 5’8″, 185-190 pounds. From a small school. Do people here really think someone who fits that description would be taken with our third pick by the best player evaluation group in the NFL if he didn’t have the capability to be an awfully good NFL receiver? Let me know when you decided that you know more about a kid none of you have seen much of than do the Giants’ evaluation group. Then admit you’re a fool.

          •  JimStoll says:

            of course we don’t know more, but the question is still a fair one
            they drafted Barden #2B from a small program (Cal Poly)
            lots of size, not much speed
            appears to have pretty good hands, but seems either to struggle to get off the line or in reading defenses
            looked good in the 2d Dallas game in ’10 before breaking his ankle; looked good in the first Pats game (made that nice reaching catch along the sideline when eli threw the ball to the inside) then seemed to play himself off the active roster thereafter
            Jernigan was active for much of the season, saw spot duty, had a couple balls thrown his way, no catches

            I think it is fair speculation to suggest the scouting department may have gotten this one wrong without being looked at as a fool.

  8.  fanfor55years says:

    LaRon Landry to the Jets. The Giants should keep their starters far away from the field when that droided-up freak is anywhere near it when they play the Jets in the preseason.

    I really, truly, deeply, hate that preseason game against those insecure turkeys each year. John Mara should have long ago said he was pulling out of that arrangement. It’s injuries waiting to happen since it’s the Jets’ annual chance to pretend they own New York (something they know is ridiculous, but Woody Johnson likes to think he can buy anything he wishes, and the players and coach are always dealing from a position of resentment). Stop the madness John. Tell Goodell you don’t want those games any longer. We’ll all breathe easier.

  9.  GOAT56 says:

    I saw Jernigan play a few times in college. I liked the pick a lot. I think his first year was like a redshirt year. If you liked him when we drafted him then you should still like him and vice versa. This year will show a lot more what Jernigan can or can’t be. I understand the comparisons to sinorce but the one thing Jernigan has over him initially is make you miss quickness.

  10.  TroyThorne says:

    Jernigan and Sinorice are nothing alike outside of being short. Sinorice was a one trick pony at Miami who did NOTHING in college. Seriously, look up his stats, he was invisible. He had one thing, straight line speed. Oh and an older brother who was pretty good. That was it. Sinorice wasn’t quick or elusive or tough or a good route runner or anything, he was just fast in a straight line. Jernigan has the same speed but is much quicker and more elusive than Sinorice ever was. Jernigan was also super productive instead of woefully mediocre. Jernigan was also the epitome of versatility while at Troy. WR, RB, KR, Wildcat QB, you name it and he did it. The two are seriously nothing alike.

    Please let’s never discuss Sinorice Moss again lol. I still have nightmares of trying to convince people he was garbage and that a 5 catch 40 yard (with a fumble) performance against the Lions meant nothing.

    •  TroyThorne says:

      Oh and in addition to Cruz, Mario also did nothing his rookie year here. Remember all those failed bubble screens? With the exception of the truly elite, WRs find it difficult to produce in their rookie seasons. Especially in the type of offense we run and with the depth we had at WR.

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