When David Douglas was weighing offers from multiple teams after he went undrafted in April, the rise of Victor Cruz from anonymity to burgeoning star certainly played a factor in Douglas choosing the Giants.
"I've always heard great things about Coach (Tom) Coughlin and about (the Giants) building up young players," said Douglas, a 6-foot-1 receiver out of Arizona. "You see players like Victor Cruz that came up and got a shot while he was an undrafted free agent, and you've seen the things that he was able to do. The Giants do things the right way and it was a great opportunity to come up here."
Of course, it didn't hurt that the Giants lost Mario Manningham to San Francisco in free agency. And with Hakeem Nicks recovering from a foot injury, a mixed bag of Ramses Barden, Jerrel Jernigan and Domenik Hixon are vying for the No. 3 receiver job with plenty of training camp reps to go around.
"There's a ton of great receivers on this team," said Douglas. "What I'm trying to do right now is just learn from them and give them my all and do my best. That's really all you can do."
Apparently, all Douglas can do has been good enough to catch Coughlin's eye. When asked about Jernigan and Hixon competing for the third spot, Coughlin volunteered Douglas' name.
"Lots of guys are competing for that spot. We want it that way," Coughlin said Wednesday. "We've got a lot of people that can play in that second or third quarter, a lot of people that can finish the game now. David Douglas has had a heck of a preseason, for four practices and a half hour."
With that comment, Douglas became a popular figure Thursday. But reading between the lines, it's also clear that Coughlin isn't getting too excited until he sees the rookie actually play in a preseason game.
"It's a big learning process so you've got to take it one play at a time. If you do something good you've got to treat it like you do something bad. I've tried to make an effort to be consistent and I try to get better every day that I step out there."