Niche receiver? How about this play - lined up wide TD in double coverage against a physical CB.
...But I guess some people will always compare him to the 32 year old 5'9 on a good day Welker who can only jump 30 inches...
Welker are two completely different players that both possess quickness.
Not saying Cruz is David Tyree by any means, but showing two plays he had in the same year is not gonna change the case that he is a excellent slot receiver, but not a great all around receiver.
You mentioned how Rice could jump higher than Cruz before but it's doubtful given that Cruz has measured one of the best verticals in the league at WR at 41.5 inches. That's higher than almost all of the so called "elite" outside receivers. I can post another 5 videos of Cruz making circus catches in traffic but why even bother?
What's consistent if 2600 yards in two seasons isn't? Calvin Johnson even disappeared in games at times and had 4 TDs less than Cruz. I think we'd all like to have our players make every play but it just doesn't work like that :/.
Please do not compare the best receiver of all time to Cruz, don't be ridiculous. Rice had amazing worth ethic and Cruz can not even be compared to him. Cruz had 500 yards in 11 games this season, only had multiple touchdowns once vs the Browns. Come on, to compare him to the best receiver of all time is so far fetched.
Rice was a better blocker, had the best work ethic in the history of the NFL, he had a sort of style of play that Cruz had but was better at it by far. He was consistently covered by the best corners in the NFL and could find holes all the time. He was a lot more reliable than Cruz, I wish Cruz was half the player Rice was but there's a long way to go lol.
Is Cruz a excellent slot receiver? Yes. Should he get payed? Yes. He is not elite, and he shouldn't be compared to Jerry Rice when he had 2 seasons in the NFL and proved he couldn't put up similar numbers when he was the #1 consistently.
I don't know another person who'd say Cruz is comparable to Jerry Rice.
Rice was quicker, more reliable, and made space for himself to catch the ball, hence being physical. Cruz runs underneath patterns and the D pays more attention to Nicks who goes deep, and payed more attention to Manningham also. Cruz finds space, and he does a great job at it, Rice made space for himself when he needed to.