Why is Rueben Randle getting overlooked?

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

Rueben Randle finds himself in a great situation this year. (USATSI)
Rueben Randle finds himself in a great situation this year. (USATSI)

Giants receiver Rueben Randle was a convenient punching bag last year. Deservedly so.

Eli Manning threw a league-high 27 interceptions, and nearly one-third of those -- eight -- came on passes intended for Randle.

Under then-offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, receivers were asked to run option routes depending on the defense. Manning and Randle apparently didn't read defenses the same way.

"At least a majority of them [were miscommunication]," Randle told The Star-Ledger. "Maybe some were not being competitive or open a lot on my part. But at least 80 percent of them are miscommunication, not being on the same page."

New OC Ben McAdoo runs a West Coast system that's simpler for receivers.

"Everything is pretty much black and white, simple. What you have is what you run," Randle said. "It just takes a lot of things off our mind and go out there and play football, just use our ability to get open. And that is what we are doing."

Coaches say Randle, entering his third year, took a more serious approach this offseason. Perhaps he's maturing. Randle left LSU after his junior year and turned 23 in May.

While Randle took a beating in the media last season -- despite the fact he led the team with six touchdowns, two more than Victor Cruz -- the last few months have done wonders for Randle's Fantasy value.

The Giants let Hakeem Nicks go in free agency. They did not draft a tight end, nor add a significant one in free agency. None of the tight ends on the roster will be a featured target.

First-round pick Odell Beckham, expected to be a big part of the offense, is falling way behind due to a hamstring injury that's bothered him since the spring. Coach Tom Coughlin is frustrated with the rookie's absence. (Randle missed Tuesday's practice with a sore hamstring of his own, but it's not believed to be serious).

Randle (6-2, 208) is the only relevant receiver above 6-feet tall. He got 80 targets last year and could easily draw 120 this season.

CBSSports.com ADP data shows Randle going 123rd overall, early in the 11th round, behind receivers like Tavon Austin, Riley Cooper, Brandin Cooks and Nicks. Randle should be taken before all those guys. He's a good bet to put up WR3 numbers, with a WR2 ceiling.

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