Giants: Parker to take over for Cruz?
The Giants offense has gained a lot headlines during the first six weeks of the season. Questions about the new system subsided when they scored 105 points in three weeks. Optimism came. That all changed when the season ended for Victor Cruz.
Cruz has been a play-maker for the Giants offense for a little more than three seasons. No one has more touchdowns out of the slot (19) since he entered the league. The first in line to replace Cruz appears to be Preston Parker. So who is he?
Like Cruz, Parker was an undrafted free agent pick-up from the 2010 class. Parker is listed as 5′ 11″, 195 lbs. while Cruz checks in at 6′ 1″, 200. Parker’s last season of significant work was with the Bucanneers in 2011 as the team’s primary slot receiver. In 479 snaps spread across the entire season, Parker posted a -4.3 receiving grade and never had a game that graded out above a +0.9. Parker ran 92% of his routes (352) out of the slot and the results where an underwhelming 36 receptions for 507 yds., 3 TDs and 1.44 yards per route run (YPRR).
That same season, Cruz had a comparable number of slot opportunities (362) but his productions levels were off the charts: 64 slot receptions, 1208 yds., 7 TDs and 3.34 YPRR. Cruz hasn’t quite been able to match those 2011 levels of production in the years since, but has still remained a key weapon for the Giants offense. In other words,Parker has some pretty big dancing shoes to fill.