Former Cal Poly wide receiver Ramses Barden has yet to establish himself as an every-down player in the NFL, but the buzz around one of the most prolific wide receivers in Cal Poly history is certainly growing.
Last season, Barden saw nearly no playing time as a member of the New York Giants. A year after breaking numerous FCS records, he logged one catch in a week 17 match-up against the Minnesota Vikings — the final game of the Giants’ season. It’s been a big change for a guy who has almost become synonymous with leaping over cornerbacks in green and gold. At Cal Poly, Barden saw 206 receptions, 4,203 yards and 50 touchdowns thrown his way.
Not much of that has translated to his professional career — well, at least not yet.
Fans, and writers, are starting to buy into Barden’s potential. An article on ESPN.com stated Barden has the potential to see his role shift from watching plays to making them — as early as next season.
“The guy basically took over training camp last season, but he wasn’t ready to contribute on special teams. I think Barden will emerge as a weapon in the red zone,” NFC East blogger Matt Mosley wrote. “The Giants have to find a way to get him on the field. I wouldn’t be shocked if he finished the season with seven touchdowns. That would be a big leap, but it’s something Barden’s capable of accomplishing.”
Mosley isn’t alone; there are many more articles surfacing like the one on ESPN, hailing Barden as a reincarnation of the Giants’ once dominant receiver Plaxico Burress. His physique and skillet is almost similar to the Giants former 6-foot-5 wide-out.
But some point to Barden’s giant stature as the hinge that kept the former Cal Poly great from the playing field in his rookie season.
An article with the New York Daily News dove in the depths of the mental aspect of Barden’s game. Stating that Barden needs to prepare for the playing field not only in the weight room, but in the film room too.
“There was a lot to learn,” Barden told the NY Daily News. “For me to understand my position I have to understand the entire offense and what the defense is doing to make sure I’m doing that one thing right. There’s more to it than ‘Hey Ramses, go line up and run a fade, go run a curl, go run an in-cut.’ There’s so many things going on at one time on the fly.”
It’s an interesting point, and it can only help the receiver get some playing time.
He’ll need it with Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith still on the roster. But if Barden can break out in some red-zone situations, he may be able to leap into one of the top-three positions on the depth chart. From there, if he can be anything close to what he did as a Mustang, the rest of the NFC East better look out.