I’m going to preface this blog entry by stating that I barely follow NCAA football, so my opinions on the NFL draft are going to be based on what I’ve gathered from reading. Just letting you know. Also I’m going to stick mainly to the picks of the New York Giants, but I’ll give my thoughts on a few other picks as well.
It’s impossible to talk about the draft and not mention the New York Jets, and their acquisition of Southern California Quarterback Mark Sanchez. Easily the biggest story of the draft gives the Jets their 3rd starting quarterback in 3 years. Before I even learned about the details of the trade, I was bombarded with the cheers and celebrations of several Jet fans, and rightfully so. If my team was to acquire their (potential) franchise quarterback I would be ecstatic as well. I, on the other hand, was annoyed by this news; until September, us non-Jet fans are going to be told how good Sanchez is, and how good the Jets are going to be from Jet fans constantly. I have to hand it to the Jets front office, though. The Jets, a team with no starting quarterback, went into the draft and completely ripped off the Cleveland Browns en route to acquiring the number 2 ranked QB in the draft. Very well done. It’ll be interesting to see how Sanchez fairs in the NFL, and if he’ll live up to all the hype that we’ll undoubtedbly be fed within the next few months.
Now, onto the main subject of this entry; The New York Football Giants. This draft only made it more clear that Jerry Reese really is an elite General Manager in the NFL. Prior to the draft, the Giants had many loose ends to tie up, and I feel that Reese addressed all of these issues. Easily the biggest issue that Reese addressed was the Wide Receiver situation. After losing former number 1 receiver Plaxico Burress, the Giants were in desperate need of a good WR. It’s been made clear that Eli Manning needs a good reciever to be an elite quarterback in this league. Let’s look at the past two seasons: 2007 (with Burress), the Giants make the playoffs, and upset 3 teams to win Super Bowl XLII. 2008 through Week 12 (with Burress), the Giants are atop the NFC East at 10-1, and are clear Super Bowl XLIII favorites. 2008 after Week 12 (without Burress), the Giants go 2-4, including a miserable loss at home to division rival Philadelphia Eagles. Undoubtedly the Giants, and more specifically Eli Manning, fare better with a good Wide Receiver. This is why I was happy when I saw the Giants select WR Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina with the 29th overall pick. Nicks had a very successful collegiate career, and possesses great hands and solid route-running ability. I definitely expect him to make an immediate impact for the Giants this coming season.
The Giants second round draft picks belonged to Outside Linebacker Clint Sintim of Virginia (pick 45), and Offensive Tackle William Beatty of Connecticut (pick 60) . These two draft picks also address issues that I feel the Giants needed to take care of. Many people are concerned with Sintim’s compatibility with the Giants defense, as he is more of a 3-4 linebacker. However, I have faith that defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan will be able to work him into the Giant defense, as their new “Sam” (strongside) linebacker. A great pick by Reese in my opinion. Beatty, I feel will add some depth to the ever-aging Giant offensive line. Although he could take several seasons to develop, I can see Beatty as a solid lineman for the Giants down the road.
Another notable pick for the Giants is Wide Reciever Ramses Barden of Cal Poly (Round 3, pick 85). Barden, who the Giants traded their 3rd and 5th round picks to Eagles to acquire, will add even more depth to Giants WR core, and his 6 foot 6 stature could make him a potential red zone target. However, I’m not too sold on this pick, and I see Barden more as a developmental prospect this season. In addition, the Giants picked Running Back Andre Brown of North Carolina State (Round 4, pick 129). I loved this pick, as Brown will definitely be competing to replace former Giant Derrick Ward’s role as “Wind” in the backfield. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Andre Brown this season.
I tried not too sound too biased towards the Giants in this blog entry, but I truly believe that Jerry Reese did a fantastic job with this draft. I’m very excited for this upcoming season, and I think the Giants have a great team as of now. I would have loved for them to get a big name WR such as Braylon Edwards, or Anquan Boldin, but that isn’t the case. I have faith in Reese’s decision to stray away from those big market WR’s, and I’m confident that it’ll pay off this season.
Giants Draft Picks not mentioned:
TE Travis Beckum, Wisconsin (Round 3, pick 100)
QB Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston State (Round 5, pick 151)
CB DeAndre Wright, New Mexico (Round 6, pick 200)
CB Stoney Woodson South Carolina (Round 7, pick 238)