New York Giants Draft: 10 Best and Worst Picks in the Tom Coughlin Era
In the eight years Tom Coughlin has coached the New York Giants, they have equalled the best era of success in team history in terms of Super Bowls.
Part of that has been great coaching, but a big part has been the Giants' ability to build through the draft. Whether it be with Ernie Accorsi or Jerry Reese, the Giants have drafted well under Coughlin.
Here we take a look at the best and worst picks of the Coughlin era.
Worst No. 10: Will Beatty
When creating this list I started to reach for guys to place under worst picks. Honestly there are a number of fifth-, sixth- and seventh-round picks that never panned out.
But you can't expect to find Ahmad Bradshaw with those selections every time.
Beatty will no doubt get his chance to take himself off this part of the list, but his only season was not a good one. He frequently allowed pressure on Eli Manning and was not opening holes in the running game. Not to mention he got placed on injured reserve after Week 10.
Best No. 10: Terrell Thomas
The newly-signed Terrell Thomas was one of the Giants best defenders in 2010, leading them in tackles and interceptions (and snubbed from the Pro Bowl in my opinion).
Thomas will have a chance to prove himself coming off an ACL injury. But if he returns to form, the Giants will be much better defensively in 2012.
Worst No. 9: Guy Whimper
Guy Whimper was taken in the fourth round of the 2006 draft and never amounted to more than a backup player for the Giants. When he did get his opportunities, he was not very impressive.
The Giants released him after the 2009 season, but Whimper has found a home with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He started 15 games for them last season.
Unfortunately, he proved unworthy to the Giants.
Best No. 9: Barry Cofield
Drafted just five picks before Guy Whimper, Barry Cofield faired much better for the Big Blue Wrecking Crew and was a key piece to the Giants upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
The Giants got five incredible years out of Cofield; unfortunately, his price tag was too high and he signed with the Washington Redskins last year.
Worst No. 8: Phillip Dillard
The Giants were looking for replacements for Antonio Pierce in 2010, who retired due to a neck injury. They took Phillip Dillard out of Nebraska in the fourth round, thinking he would challenge Jonathan Goff for the position.
He did little to impress and the Giants cut him last year to make room for four rookie linebackers.
Best No. 8: Kenny Phillips
Desperate for a safety after winning the Super Bowl in 2007, the Giants took Kenny Phillips with the 32nd overall pick in 2008. He would have an impact his rookie season and in the first five games of the 2009 season looked like he was going to be a superstar.
A knee condition cost him the remainder of that season and his absence was missed dearly. His return from the knee injury has been slow and steady, but he has improved these last two seasons to become one of the Giants' better defenders.
Worst No. 7: Gerris Wilkinson
Taken in the third round of the 2006 draft, injuries would claim Wilkinson for most of his career. He never lived up to the potential the Giants saw in him and they cut him after the 2010 season.
Best No. 7: Mathias Kiwanuka
Originally crucified for the decision with Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and a young Justin Tuck on the roster, the decision to draft Mathias Kiwanuka turned out to be a brilliant one.
He has become the Giants' most versatile defender, able to move from defensive end to linebacker while performing at a high level. He was the Giants' best run-stopper in 2011.
Worst No. 6: Travis Beckum
Taken in the third round of the 2009 draft, Travis Beckum was supposed to help Eli Manning in the passing game.
Though he had zero skills as a blocker, he was a quick athlete with good hands. Injuries and not cracking the starting lineup have turned him into a benchwarmer, collecting just 26 catches for 264 yards and three touchdowns in three years.
Sixty-seven of those yards came on one play in 2011.
Best No. 6: Corey Webster
Though not as highly publicized as a Nnamdi Asomugha or a Darrelle Revis, Corey Webster has quietly turned into a reliable starting corner for the Giants.
He used a strong performance in the 2007 playoffs to win the starting job and hasn't looked back.
Worst No. 5: Ramses Barden
Although the Giants took Hakeem Nicks in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, many believe it was Ramses Barden who would replace Plaxico Burress as a dominating red-zone threat.
As it happens, Nicks has turned in to one of the most complete receivers in the NFL while Barden has done little with his incredible measurements (6'6'', 230-pounds) and FCS receiving records.
He might have yet another chance to prove himself in 2012 if Mario Manningham leaves via free agency. But he'll have to compete with recently signed Domenik Hixon and 2011 third round pick Jerrel Jernigan for touches.
Best No. 5: Ahmad Bradshaw
Ahmad Bradshaw will forever be known for scoring the most awkward looking game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl history, but he's also known as the first of many gems GM Jerry Reese found late in drafts.
Bradshawm, taken in the seventh round, was a huge factor even as a rookie. He sent the Giants to the playoffs in 2007 with an 88 yard run against the Buffalo Bills, a game in which both he and Brandon Jacobs went over 145 yards.
The Marshall grad has been a terrific asset for the Giants.
Worst No. 4: Matt Dodge
The poster boy for one of the worst regular season defeats in Giants history, Giants fans would like to forget Matt Dodge.
Thankfully they have Steve Weatherford to help with that.
Dodge was the scapegoat for the Giants blowing a fourth quarter lead of 21 points when he inexplicably (he says the snap was too high) punted to DeSean Jackson, who proceeded to take the punt to the house for a walk-off touchdown.
The cascade of events that followed were the Giants missing the playoffs, the Eagles won the division, the Packers got the Wild Card spot over the Giants and the Packers went on to win the Super Bowl.
Packers fans must love Matt Dodge.
Best No. 4: Hakeem Nicks
Hakeem Nicks has made Giants fans forget all about Plaxico Burress (or have they?). He's posted back-to-back 1000-yard seasons and become a favorite target of Eli Manning's when the Giants get in to the red zone.
Hopefully when Nicks becomes a free agent the Giants do not let him walk, as he has a chance to shatter many records and become one of the greatest wide receivers in team history.
Worst No. 3: Clint Sintim
Although he has been a bust since being drafted in the second round in 2009 (wow, how bad does that draft look now?), I have held out hope that Sintim could be a solid player for the Giants.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to recover from a ruptured patella tendon, so the Giants have a decision to make this training camp.
Best No. 3: Jason Pierre-Paul
The only reason Jason Pierre-Paul is not higher is simply due to the fact that he's had one productive season.
Though an incredible talent and likely the next great pass-rusher to challenge Michael Strahan's record, I'd like to see more out of him before putting him above the next two.
Worst No. 2: Aaron Ross
I hate to feel like I'm piling on the guy, especially since it was mostly injuries that derailed Ross' promising start to his career, but he's not lived up to his first round selection.
Ross stepped up in the postseason, to which he should be very proud of, but I don't see any way the Giants bring him back.
Best No. 2: Justin Tuck
Taken in the third round of the 2005 draft, Justin Tuck has been one of the fiercest and most versatile pass-rushers in the league.
Able to move inside and rush over the guard, he gives the Giants so much flexibility on passing downs. He is also the defensive captain and a fan favorite, despite his overly cool and collected nature.
Worst No. 1: Sinorice Moss
Injured for most of his career with the New York Giants, Sinorice Moss is without a doubt the worst pick the Giants made under Tom Coughlin.
What made it worse was how much we heard Moss played well during training camp, but it never amounted to anything in the regular season.
He played four years with the Giants and caught just 39 passes for 421 yards. The Giants released him in 2010 after placing him on injured reserve.
A fitting end.
Best No. 1: Chris Snee
What? No Eli Manning on the list?? It's an outrage! Calm down Giants fans. If you are thinking technically, Eli was not really drafted by the Giants. He was acquired via trade with the San Diego Chargers. The 2004 first round pick credited to the New York Giants is Phillip Rivers.
It may be considered the best trade in Giants history, but he was not a draft pick. The trade was constructed after each team had made their selections, not beforehand (like with the Redskins and Rams this year).
There is something poetic about Chris Snee being the best pick of the Tom Coughlin era, considering he's married to Coughlin's daughter.
When I was coming up with this list, and I omitted Eli due to the technicality, my thoughts went straight to Snee.
He has anchored the offensive line pretty much from day one, when the Giants made him the second best acquisition on draft day 2004.
He started 11 games as a rookie, then from 2005 to 2010 he became one of the best right guards in the business and did not miss a single start.
He ended his consecutive starts streak in 2011 and had a down year (as down a year as a Super Bowl champ can have), but he is still the best offensive lineman on the team and the best player drafted by the Giants since 2004.