The 2012 NFL Draft was quite successful for the New York Giants.They filled some important holes at running back, wide receiver, tight end, and the offensive line in particular by making smart draft choices.
General manager Jerry Reese knew he was not going to make any huge splashes, being that the Giants are the defending Super Bowl champions, but the picks he made will hopefully improve the Giants' depth chart to become even better than it already is. Assuming no major injuries occur, there is every reason to believe that the Giants' draftees will only help the team contend and possibly win another Super Bowl in the upcoming season.
With this being said, here are some bold predictions for both of the Giants' first two draftees, plus an analysis on each and why the Giants were eager to choose them.
The Giants used their first round pick to draft running back David Wilson from Virginia Tech to fill the hole left from the release of Brandon Jacobs.
The Giants then drafted wide receiver Rueben Randle from Louisiana State to replace Mario Manningham, who along with Jacobs is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
In the third round, the Giants drafted cornerback Jayron Hosley from Virginia Tech to replace Aaron Ross, who left for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Those were the Giants' three big picks for the year because they filled significant holes within their depth chart.
The rest of the Giants' picks were made to add to the already solid depth chart. In the fourth round, the Giants took tight end Adrien Robinson from Cincinnati as a potential second tight end, which is particularly significant due to the injuries sustained in the Super Bowl by TE's Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum.
In the fifth round, the Giants drafted offensive tackle Brandon Moseley from Auburn to potentially replace the departing Kareem McKenzie at right tackle.
In the sixth round, the Giants selected another offensive lineman in Matt McCants of UAB.
Finally, in the seventh round, the Giants drafted defensive tackle Markus Kuhn to add to their depth at the position.
Although they did not draft a middle linebacker at any point in this draft, the Giants' 2012 draft was quite successful.
Ahmad Bradshaw is still considered the Giants' main running back, but with the release of the loudmouthed Brandon Jacobs, the Giants knew they had to find another running back to compliment Bradshaw.
Years ago, NFL teams could rely on just one running back to carry the load for the running game. Now, each team has at least two running backs that are equally utilized. As a result, the Giants couldn't let Bradshaw do all the work, especially with his injury concerns over the past few seasons.
With Jacobs gone, the Giants figured that they did not have to necessarily draft another large running back. Jacobs faded after rushing for over 1,000 yards in 2008, so that may have showed the Giants that running backs don't necessarily have to be large in order to succeed.
All in all, Wilson was drafted to replace Jacobs and the Giants will now look to him as a significant part of the team's future.
The amount of playing time that Wilson will get in his rookie season will ultimately depend on whether Ahmad Bradshaw can stay healthy all season long. Throughout his career, Bradshaw has been plagued with various injuries.
If Bradshaw stays healthy, Wilson will likely get between 30-40% of the carries, with Bradshaw getting the other 60-70%. Wilson, of course, will have to take some time and adjust to the new level of competition, which is understandable.
Wilson should have a solid rookie campaign, but his big breakout season may not really arrive until he gets the majority of the carries. This could take two or three years to occur, so Wilson will have to learn to be patient.
From a long-term perspective, Wilson should definitely develop into one of the NFL's most productive running backs within the next five years.
The easy answer is that the Giants needed a receiver to fill in the void left by the departure of Mario Manningham. The Giants do have Domenik Hixon, but his last two seasons have both ended very early with injuries, so there's a very good chance that the Giants felt they needed a more dependable third receiver.
The Giants have been relying on the passing game now more than ever before, so it's quite important for a team like this to have not just two, but three established receivers in order to give Eli Manning as many options as he need to complete passes.
Furthermore, while Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz became the Giants' best targets in 2011, Manningham was the "home run" threat as the lesser known player that can make big plays. The Giants are hoping that Randle can be just that kind of player for years to come. Sure, he won't be a starter per se, but his role will be very significant as long as he is on the Giants.
Randle should immediately slide into becoming the Giants' third receiver and he will likely be lining up as a slot receiver for the most part. He will have to learn to get used to the fast pace of both the NFL and New York sports.
Many, if not all of the Giants' veterans will immediately tell Randle that he can no longer underachieve and that New York sports fans expect everything out of everyone. This should finally get the message to Randle as he realizes that an NFL career should never be taken lightly.
From a long-term view, Randle could become a hit or a miss. A lot of this depends on his overall character and attitude towards playing football and working hard to help his team win. If he changes up his act, the sky is the limit. If not, the next few years will be quite long for Randle.