After losing veterans Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress this offseason, the New York Giants have a large void to fill at the wide receiver position in 2009.
The man with the largest frame of the bunch is impressing coaches, colleagues and quarterbacks alike.
Former Cal Poly wideout Ramses Barden — the Giants’ third-round pick in this year’s draft — is slowly climbing his way up Eli Manning’s target depth chart. All 78 inches (6-foot-6) of him are exceeding expectations early in Giants training camp.
"Ramses is doing really well," Manning told NJ.com. "He's a big target. He's made some plays, and he seems like he's got a pretty good feel for what's going on."
His fellow receivers are praising the literal Giant, too.
"That one-handed catch was terrific,” Sinorice Moss told the Web site. “That's the kind of stuff we need. Using his size and those big hands, that's the kind of stuff you should expect from him. I know I do."
Barden hauled in 67 passes for 1,257 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2008 for the Mustangs in college football’s Football Championship Subdivision. That includes 83 yards and a touchdown at Wisconsin, Cal Poly’s only opponent from a BCS conference. He finished his Mustangs career with 206 receptions, 4,203 yards and 50 touchdowns.
Needless to say, Barden is used to out-jumping defenders, coming down with catches and impressing those around him. His immediate success doesn’t surprise him.
"I know what I'm capable of," he said. "All I'm doing is trying to be the player I can be. As far as surprises, they have to do with expectations. I didn't really come into this with expectations at all."