After thinking about the ramifications of ESPN's Braylon Edward report yesterday, I've actually started to accept the notions that: One, the Giants may not even draft a WR on day one, let alone trade for one who has a considerable price tag, and two, Reese and Co. will probably be drafting out of their 29th position on Saturday.
As Earth-shattering as this may appear to Giants' fans, especially with all the trade speculation and the bitter taste left in our mouths after January's playoff loss to Philly, the biggest offseason loss for this team was Derrick Ward.
Ward was a vastly under appreciated safety valve for Manning out of the backfield, a hard and elusive runner, and fairly adept at picking up the blitz.
It's no secret that Brandon Jacobs has not played a full season since becoming the starter, and we know that Ahmad Bradshaw has the potential to take it to the house every time he touches the ball, but will Danny Ware be the same player as the other DW? We just can't be sure.
I think come Saturday, Giants' fans should prepare themselves to hear a Jersey kid's name come off the board, and I'm not talking about Kenny Britt.
Sure, would I love to see Knowshon Moreno and his rare and exciting skill set in Blue next year? We all would. But I think UCONN's Donald Brown could be calling the Meadowlands home after this weekend.
Brown led the nation in rushing last year with more than 2,000 yards, scoring 27 TD's. Moreover, the Red Bank Catholic Grad is roughly the same size as Derrick Ward, and he's arguably more talented.
What is more, after watching Brown on the NFL network for the last day, he seems like a Jerry Reese guy. He is a high character, hard-working, and charismatic personality who seems as though he would thrive in New York.
Everything we're hearing is that Philly is gushing over Moreno at 21, but who knows, Andy Reid doesn't like to draft skill players in round one. But if the Giants really covet Moreno, which they may and Jerry is playing it cool, they have the pieces to move up ahead of Philly to grab him.
But even still, Brown is a huge value at 29, and I don't think the Giants will balk at the opportunity.
Brown can run, block, and catch the ball; in a draft that is supposedly low in RB value and deep in WR talent, what makes anyone think that Jerry won't fill this need the team has in a down year for the position.
We can say all we want about Kevin Gilbride's playcalling, but the fact remains the running game is how this team will find success. Perhaps critics are right when the they say that the core of players the Giants had when Eli came into the league have stunted his development in some ways, but they got their Super Bowl, and they are gone.
I think now is the time for Reese to build his dynasty. The only way that's going to happen is with a strong, consistent, and deep rushing attack and a deep, relentless defense that gets after the QB.
If you don't believe me, take a look at the Cowboys. Did anyone notice that the Cowboys' trio of RB's—Barber, Tashard Choice, and Felix Jones—seemed to be modeled after the Giants own "Earth, Wind, and Fire" backfield.
Maybe it's just a coincidence, but if all these players are healthy this year maybe Jason Garrett can finally just run his offense without having to appease TO. In fact, Jones and Choice were both picked last year after Barber had just gotten a new contract.
Garrett is a guy who spent time in the Giants' organization and is a Princeton Grad. He's a smart and getting rid of TO is a reason for the Giants to worry, but we can all see for ourselves when "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys" premieres in August.
Bottom line, the Giants may draft a receiver, but I think the most realistic pick is a RB at 29. I would love to hear Donald Brown's name called. We shall see.
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