Previous Five Picks
31) New England Patriots: Forfeited as punishment for Spygate.
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The Longest Mock Draft in NFL History Continues...
I’m going to beat my own self-imposed deadline of April 1st by a whole day.
Pick No. 32: New York Giants
The New York “Football” Giants.
As a Patriots fan, I knew they were picking last in the draft BEFORE the Super Bowl. I just assumed the reason was because the Patriots lost their pick.
The Super Bowl results STILL hurt.
I still don’t understand why the Patriots didn’t stop the five- and seven-step drops after the very first double-fake handoff play didn’t work.
I still don’t understand why they didn’t roll Brady outside the pocket at all until the fourth quarter.
I still don’t understand why they didn’t use the shotgun more once they figured out the offensive line couldn’t block the Giants’ defensive line.
It was interesting, because I’m not used to rooting for the big, evil empire that everyone wants to lose. I’m used to rooting for the scrappy underdog who knows that if they land a few big punches, the bully will wilt.
And that’s just want the Giants did. They punched the Patriots offense in the face, and for the first time in the Belichick era, the Pats had no answer. They couldn’t run the ball. They couldn’t protect Brady.
They were powerless.
The Giants’ defense had one of the best games I’ve seen in AGES. They were tremendous.
There’s something to be said about stepping up in the playoffs, but you have to wonder where this team was during the regular season. I saw plenty of the New York Giants, and it was a different team that showed up and beat the Patriots.
The offense was clutch (a little lucky at the end, but certainly clutch), and the defense was dominant.
(As an aside, the most underrated play of the Super Bowl was the sack of Brady on second down with about 20 second left in the game. It forced the Pats to give up on trying to drive into field goal position and just lob up a few Hail Mary passes.)
Anyway, the Giants are poised to have another decent season in 2008.
Couple of points, though...
1) Tom Coughlin is still the guy everyone in New York wanted to fire for the last two seasons.
Don’t let him become the next Brian Billick—a guy who caught lightning in a bottle, won a Super Bowl, then undeservingly remained employed four years longer than he should have.
2) Eli Manning is still Eli Manning.
He may have had a few good playoff games, but they were just OK playoff games. Outside of one drive in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, Eli wasn’t good. He didn’t kill his team in any of the playoff games, which is a huge step up from where he was for most of the regular season. But he’s a lot more Trent Dilfer than he is his brother.
3) Their defense played tremendous in the Super Bowl—but their secondary is terrible.
It’s a credit to how well their front-seven was able to pressure Brady. Show any offensive coach a Giants defensive backfield depth chart and he’ll salivate with the possibilities.
Taking that into consideration, the final pick in the longest mock draft in the history of the Internet is…
The Pick: Reggie Smith, S, Oklahoma
They need cornerback help.
They need safety help.
There’s a guy coming out of Oklahoma who can provide both.
Smith has the ability to play corner, but he’ll probably stick to safety in the NFL. He’s been a playmaker there for Oklahoma. His 2007 season was fantastic.
While other guys have shot past him on the draft board because of their workouts, he remains a first-round talent because of what he did on the field.
The Giants might not be able to recapture the magic they found in 2007, but they’ll be as formidable in 2008 as any defending Super Bowl champion.
Finally, It’s Over!
Well, it’s been two months, thirty one picks, two hundred angry Raiders fans, and four hundred reminders about Spygate. (Thanks Anonymous!)
It’s finally done.
So what have we learned?
Spreading a mock draft over the course of two months can cause some seriously odd things to happen with your draft board.
Agreeing to write a 30-plus part series is borderline crazy. Insane. JJ Stankevitz can attest to this as well.
NFL fans are passionate, and if they don’t agree with you (hello Raider Nation!) they will let you know about it. In no uncertain terms.
Sometimes they even challenge you to a knife-fight (isn't that right firstname.lastname@example.org?).
Anyway, I had a great time. Hope you all enjoyed reading it. Thanks to everyone who read, commented on (good or bad), or emailed me about the Mock Draft series.
In the coming weeks, we’ll have a follow up and probably a version 2.0 (which will be a single article, not thirty individual ones…thank you very much).
Until next time…