Rapid Reaction: Giants take WR Jernigan

The Giants used their third-round pick (No. 83 overall) on a speedster they hope can be a playmaker on special teams as well.

PLAYER: Jerrel Jernigan





THE 411: The 5-9 Jernigan runs a 4.46 40, can play as a slot receiver, return punts and kickoffs, and was Troy's Wildcat option. He set the Sun Belt conference record with 5,972 all-purpose yards. Jernigan had 84 receptions for 822 yards and six touchdowns last year. He also had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a punt return touchdown as well last year. He is considered to be one of the elite pass catchers in the draft and is projected to be a guy who can immediately help on special teams.

The Giants were one of the worst teams in punt returns last season and desperately need speed on special teams. Jernigan worked on returning punts with former Troy player and Buffalo Bills special teams standout Leodis McKelvin. He's considered to be a shifty threat after the catch.

HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants have a ton of wide receivers, but Steve Smith, Ramses Barden and Domenik Hixon are all coming off surgeries. Hixon could regain his old returning duties, but Jernigan now gives the Giants an option there and a speedy one at that. If Smith's recovery from microfracture surgery is slower than expected, Jernigan gives the Giants an option in the slot. The bottom line is, the Giants can use speed and playmakers, and Jernigan sounds like somebody with some home-run ability. He will have Hakeem Nicks, Smith, Mario Manningham, Barden, Victor Cruz and Hixon all possibly ahead of him on the depth chart at receiver, though.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "He is a little guy but is extremely fast, versatile, he is their Wildcat quarterback, slot receiver, returns punts and kicks, high school quarterback, you love those kind of guys," said Marc Ross, the Giants' director of college scouting. "He will add speed to our team on offense and special teams."