Giants second-round pick Sterling Shepard already has shown to have great timing. The wide receiver was walking into the team’s facility on Thursday to report to rookie minicamp at the same time two other players were walking out:
Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr.
Shepard’s thoughts when meeting his two new teammates?
“I’m here,” he said on Friday. “It was like a dream come true, pretty much.”
The Giants certainly hope to see a lot more of the three of them together, especially when the season begins a few months from now. They are penciled in – lightly – to be the top three receivers for the offense. Coordinator Mike Sullivan said on Friday that he thinks Shepard can play both the slot and the outside, and he even projected moving him and his group around like a game of three-receiver monte to keep the defenses guessing who would show up where.
“I believe I can contribute as soon as I step in here,” Shepard said.
Shepard said there wasn’t much time to chat with his new colleagues and he didn’t get any advice.
“He’s going to wait on that, I guess,” he said of Cruz.
He also spoke with Eli Manning on the phone after the draft and again upon arriving for the minicamp. Manning’s advice: Get into the playbook.
For Shepard, though, it was running into the larger-than-life players he has looked up to for years – and, in Cruz’s case, often been compared to – that gave him that feeling of arrival. The fact that neither of them actually was larger-than-life, however, made the biggest impression. After having heard that he was too short to play in college, play in the NFL, get drafted, the 5-10 rookie was pleased to see Cruz and Beckham.
“We’re all kind of the same size,” Sherpard said. “You have guys the same size as you and you see them making plays every week, so why can’t you?”