Offseason Time-Traveling: Advice for the 2008 New York Giants

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJune 11, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the New England Patriots 17 0 14 after Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Earlier this offseason, there was a great thread on Reddit asking fans what piece of advice they'd give their favorite team's front office a half-decade ago.

On Monday, we expanded on that with the Dallas Cowboys and now we continue our alphabetical march through the NFC East with the New York Giants.

If we could go back five years to the 2008 NFL offseason and give only one line of futuristic wisdom to the G-Men, here's what we'd tell Jerry Reese, Tom Coughlin and Co.


Rethink the 2nd Round

It's really hard to find fault here, because the Giants were coming off a Super Bowl season and on the verge of a 12-4 follow-up campaign. This team has been managed and coached extremely well over the last half-decade, which is why it has won two championships since 2007. 

That said, it was still one-and-done in '08 and missed the playoffs in 2009, 2010 and 2012. The Giants haven't finished below .500 during that span, but they've won more than 10 games only once and they've taken the NFC East only twice in the last seven years.

With that in mind, we're going to be picky here and go with something more specific rather than a broad, systemic issue like the one we identified for the time travel piece on the Cowboys.

The Giants had two terrible second-round draft picks in a three-year span starting in 2009. 2010 second-rounder Linval Joseph hasn't exactly become a star, either. 

When New York picked now-retired linebacker Clint Sintim 45th overall in '09, the much more talented Connor Barwin was on the board. Barwin went one pick later to Houston and is now a quality starter as he continues his career in Philadelphia.

The G-Men could have used a guy like that with their thin linebacking corps in disarray ever since the Antonio Pierce era began to fizzle out around 2008. 

The next year, they grabbed Joseph. He's become a reliable starter at defensive tackle, but another fantastic linebacker—Pro Bowler Daryl Washington—went off the board to Arizona directly after Joseph was selected by Big Blue. And keeping it in the front seven, they also could have had top-notch pass-rusher Carlos Dunlap in that spot.

In 2011, they again swung and missed on a front seven defender with Marvin Austin, who has played in only eight games and recorded just five tackles two years into his pro career. Instead of taking that defensive tackle, they could have gone with Stephen Paea, who went one spot later and has become a solid starter in Chicago.

Imagine this team now with Barwin, Washington and Paea instead of Joseph and Austin. All three of those guys went off the board one spot after the Giants made their second-round selections. 

New York did wind up landing franchise left tackle Will Beatty later in the second round of the '09 draft and could have something special with 2012 second-rounder Rueben Randle, but for a team that rarely makes mistakes, that's an area where Reese might regret some of his decisions.