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3 questions facing Giants Wide Receivers in 2015

Eli Manning enjoyed one of his best statistical seasons in 2014.


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In his 11th year with the Giants, the franchise quarterback set career highs in completions, attempts and completion percentage while throwing for 4,410 yards and finishing one shy of his career-best 31 touchdowns.

And he did so without a full deck of wide receiver coach Sean Ryan's cards.

Offensive co-captain Victor Cruz suffered a season-ending knee injury in the sixth game of the year, which followed first-round draft choice Odell Beckham Jr. missing the first quarter of his rookie campaign. As a whole, Manning played only one full game with Cruz, Beckham and Rueben Randle all together last season.

Despite those barriers, Ryan's receivers improved weekly in a new system under first-time offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and went on to finish seventh in passing and 10th in total yards.

So what does that mean for 2015?

That's the big question.

A million other ones will lead to the answer. sorted through those and highlighted three of the most pressing questions surrounding the wide receiver corps:

1. How is Cruz doing?

After suffering a torn patellar tendon in Philadelphia on Oct. 12, Cruz underwent surgery and set his sights for a 2015 return. Nearly six months later, he has started to run again while working back to full strength at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. He also recently reunited with his fellow wide receivers and Manning at the quarterback's annual workout at Duke University.

"I think he will be back to the player that he was and hopefully better," coach Tom Coughlin said last month at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix. "Victor looks really good. He's starting to run. He's coming along well."

Coughlin was asked when he expects Cruz to be able to fully participate in practice.

"I don't know," Coughlin added. "I shouldn't say this, because medically I really do not have a definite answer, but by training camp, hopefully. He will work his way through."

2. What will Beckham do for an encore?

By now, you've seen "The Catch" and know all the stats by heart, but the bottom line is that Beckham had a rookie season for the ages after the Giants drafted him with the 12th pick. But now comes the hard part: following it up.

Like Cruz had to do in 2012 coming off his own meteoric rise during the Super Bowl season, Beckham will set out to maintain that level and do so with all eyes on him -- both on and off the field. Cruz can surely offer some advice. After 2011, Cruz posted another 1,000-yard season and 10 touchdowns en route to a Pro Bowl selection.

3. Who else will step up?

As previously mentioned, Beckham will attract much attention by defenses moving forward, which will open up some looks for others. But until we can even start talking about games, there will be plenty of competition -- and developments in the second season of the new offense -- that will play out in the coming weeks and months.

The Giants brought back Kevin Ogletree and signed former Dallas Cowboy Dwayne Harris, who is primarily a return specialist but could factor into the offense. Meanwhile, Preston Parker was the Giants' third-leading wide receiver in 2014 and Marcus Harris was having a solid training camp before being placed on injured reserve before the start of the season.  And then there's always the draft, which begins April 30 in Chicago. The Giants have drafted a wide receiver in the first three rounds in seven out of the last nine years.

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