Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. believes he can be a productive wide receiver in the NFL, according to Steve Reed of The Charlotte Post. Ginn said that he wants to "show the world that I can still play receiver," and not be labeled simply a return specialist.
Ginn was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. From the onset, he was supposed to use his speed to become one of the top deep threats in the NFL, but it never quite worked out that way. Ginn struggled with route running, and though he did get open a lot thanks to that speed, he had frequent drops.
By the time Ginn was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a fifth-round pick after three season in the league, Ginn was noted as a receiver who was unreliable when it came to making the big-play catches. The 49ers intended to use Ginn as a wide receiver, but after he complied just 31 receptions for 383 yards and one touchdown after two years, he was virtually erased from the wide receiver depth chart.
What's notable is the fact that the 49ers didn't exactly have a strong group of receivers for Ginn to compete with. Michael Crabtree only recently came into his own and Ginn was given every opportunity to excel. However, he caught jut two passes for one yard last season.
Ginn has always been a productive returner, though. He's had over 1,000 kickoff return yards twice in his career, and has at least 800 yards four times.
If there's one thing going for Ginn in Carolina, it's that the Panthers don't have the strongest group of wide receivers. Steve Smith is still productive after over a decade in the NFL, but there's a dropoff after him. Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards aren't exactly set in stone as the No. 2 and No. 3 guys, so he'll likely get his opportunity.