Wouldn’t it be awesome if the New York Giants could put together a 2014 draft class in which almost every pick contributed something this coming season?
Hey, it could happen or come close to happening.
Just look at the 2007 Giants' draft class in which seven out of their eight draft picks—cornerback Aaron Ross, receiver Steve Smith, defensive tackle Jay Alford, long snapper Zak DeOssie, tight end Kevin Boss, safety Michael Johnson and running back Ahmad Bradshaw—contributed to that Super Bowl XLII championship season.
Since that class, the Giants' drafts haven’t exactly been as stellar. As I noted in this review of their last five classes (2009 to 2013), the Giants' draft classes have yielded just 18.4 percent of the roster’s starters, with 39.5 percent of the players being backups and a whopping 31.6 percent out of the league as of last season.
If those stats are making you a little nervous about this year’s draft, keep the faith.
The Giants' decision-makers know they have to come up big with this year's class, especially in the middle rounds where team CEO John Mara told reporters last December that the team's track record in those critical middle rounds hasn't been what they had hoped for.
We have missed on some guys. We’ve had some bad luck with second- and third-round picks being hurt; a first-round pick in the person of Kenny Phillips (knee), who we thought would be a Pro Bowl safety for us for years. We have missed on some, no question about it.
There are a few cases where we took a chance, knowing we were taking a chance, knowing if we hit on this guy, maybe we would knock it out of the park, and if we missed, we missed. And we missed entirely. That’s going to happen. There’s no question over the past few years we’ve missed on some of them for whatever reason.
Redemption is just a few weeks away, and it will be interesting to see if the Giants are more inclined to stay away from taking gambles.
While we patiently wait for the start of the draft on May 8, here, I give you my latest attempt at identifying seven prospects who could potentially contribute at some point in their rookie season.