04/29/2012 - Former Giants assistant special teams coach Thomas McGaughey, who last year left the team to join the coaching staff at LSU, offered his old bosses a glowing recommendation of receiver Rueben Randle, the team's second-round pick. "I think there have been a lot of personal calls made into that particular school, talking with coaches who have worked with Randle," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. "Thomas McGaughey ... gave Randle a very strong recommendation and we have a lot of faith in Thomas' ability to judge (talent)." - The Sports Xchange
After catching only 44 passes in his first two years, Randle grabbed attention last season with 53 catches for 917 yards and eight touchdowns.
When he announced he was declaring for the NFL draft, scouts knew they needed more input to get a grasp on his abilities. He is obviously big and fast, but LSU had a less than stellar passing game, which some assume is a reason Randle wanted to move on.
It created one of those situations where data from the Scouting Combine would help NFL teams feel a little more comfortable, or not. His announced 40-yard time of 4.55 seconds at the combine was marginally comfortable, but he clocked 4.42 seconds at his pro day workout just in case.
Randle's exceptional athletic ability has been known for a while back Bastrop, La., where he played both quarterback and wide receiver as a high school senior -- although only one position at a time. He led Bastrop High to the state semifinals (11-2) in 2008, passing for 2,461 yards and 20 touchdowns, rushing for 683 yards and another dozen scores and catching a few passes, too. As a prep junior he played wide receiver and caught 55 passes for 1,058 yards and 11 TDs to help Bastrop win a second consecutive Class 4A state championship.
Release: Good strength to push the cornerback onto his heels in tight coverage and has the burst to step back, space and snatch the quick out. Smooth accelerator who can get behind the defense with good playing speed but needs to do a better job of using his hands to gain separation when pressed.
Hands: Strong hands. Can snatch the ball from the air but does allow passes into his chest. Good strength and effort facing physical coverage and has the long arms and big hands to win the contested ball. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Good body control to contort in space. Possesses very long arms and has good flexibility to extend and pluck outside of his frame.
Route running: Possesses good athleticism for a receiver of his size and is able to get free of coverage due to his savviness as a route runner. Shows some feel for setting up the defender. Will use a shoulder fake to get the defender turning and accelerate smoothly on angle routes. Has the speed to beat defenders deep and is able to gain separation on short routes despite being a bit stiff in turning back to the ball. Alert receiver. Recognizes when his quarterback is in trouble and adjusts his route accordingly.
After the catch: Possesses very good size and good strength to threaten as a big play target. Fights for additional yardage and can break tackles in doing so. Isn't elusive enough to juke defenders in tight quarters but has good vision and enough burst to take advantage after breaking a tackle. Coordinated athlete who glides for his size but may lack the top-end speed to run away from NFL cornerbacks.
Blocking: Takes pride in his role as a blocker, showing significant improvement in this area in 2011 from 2010. Possesses very good size as well as good strength and effort to contain his target. Looks to get involved downfield to spring one of his teammates.
Intangibles: Highly touted athlete who drew interest in the Major League Baseball draft and could have signed with virtually any college team in the country as a prep receiver. Has been characterized as a very hard worker who is willing to put in the time on and off the field to improve. On the "hands" team for LSU and caught the on-side kick attempt by Oregon to essentially end the game in the 2011 season opener.