In years past, I would never get too excited on draft day, because you're talking about rookies here. How many rookies make the roster and contribute in their first season?
That's all changed now.
That's because if you're a Giants fan, you know you have an ace GM in Jerry Reese, who is one of the best in the business right now.
Reese took over the team's draft in 2007. It is incredible to me that every player he drafted in both 2007 and 2008 is still on the Giants' roster. That's a total of 15 players.
In fact, over the past five seasons, the Giants have drafted a total of 35 players. All but four are still either with the club or playing somewhere in the NFL.
This year's draft may pan out the same way. The Giants had 10 picks, and it was widely speculated that they would make a trade. The logic was, "How could 10 rookies crack this roster?"
Well, they did make a trade, but it wasn't for Anquan Boldin or Braylon Edwards. It was with the Eagles, of all teams. The Giants traded up with Philly in the third round to get 6'6" receiver Ramses Barden, a Plaxico Burress-type receiver who could ironically come back to haunt the Eagles.
The Giants' draft grade is a B right now. It seems they drafted out of need with many of their picks, but it may turn out be an A over time.
Barden was a must have because of his height. First rounder Hakeem Nicks was simply the best WR on the board when Reese went to select at No. 29. Nicks just happened to be the player the team actually wanted, so they say. That being said, Nicks is an NFL-ready player and should help them right away in the passing game.
Second-rounder Clint Sintim, an outside linebacker from Virginia, should have been taken somewhere in the first round. He wasn't, so Reese—using one of the picks he got from New Orleans in the Jeremy Shockey deal—jumped on Sintim.
This is a very interesting pick. Yes, the Giants needed a presence in the LB corps. They signed Michael Boley, and they still have the two players they drafted last season—Bryan Kehl and Jonathan Goff—so Sintim will come right in and push everyone.
This is just what the team was looking for.
William Beatty is an athletic 6'6" OT that the club will groom to be a starter. Beatty could also have been taken in round one, but fell to the Giants late in the second round. This could be a winner.
Round three not only yielded Barden but a versatile TE in Wisconsin's Travis Beckum (pictured). This is another of those mismatch players the Giants like and have not had since Shockey and Burress left. Beckum is not really a TE, but more of a slot receiver that can get into the secondary with his speed. He can catch the ball in traffic, and he'll have to if Eli Manning is throwing it to him.
The Giants were looking for a Derrick Ward type, and they may have found him in the fourth round in NC State's Andre Brown.
In the fifth round, the Giants took a quarterback, Rhett Bomar of Sam Houston State. Bomar was a freshman starter at Oklahoma but was expelled for taking a "no-show" job at a car dealership—a clear violation of NCAA rules.
Reese must have kept him in the back of his mind, because it doesn't appear that anyone else was about to draft this kid. They don't need him, and it's not clear if Bomar still has the ability he once showed at Oklahoma. We shall see if Reese hits with this pick.
The late rounds were dedicated to bringing in some new depth, perhaps for special teams. Since the "wedge" has been made illegal, smaller, faster players will be more valuable on kickoff coverage. The Giants took New Mexico DB DeAndre Wright in round six and then South Carolina's Stoney Woodson in the last round. They also signed a CB after the draft, Vince Anderson of Weber International.
This draft and the productive ones before it make the club better - and this is a team that has won 22 regular season games and a Super Bowl since Reese took over. Combine his drafts with his agressive free-agent approach and they just might take the sting out of those hefty PSLs.....
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