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New York Giants NFL Draft History: Grading Each Giants Draft of the 2000s

Benjamin C. KleinCorrespondent IApril 17, 2011

New York Giants NFL Draft History: Grading Each Giants Draft of the 2000s

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    With the 2011 NFL draft in the near future it is easy to know which franchises will draft well, the ones that have drafted well in the past. The New York Football Giants have been one of the most successful franchises in the NFL for almost a century, and one of the primary reasons for that success on the field is success in the draft room off it.

    For the first decade of the 2000s the Giants were constantly in the hunt for a Super Bowl Ring, making two and winning one. And, true to formula, the success the Giants enjoyed in the 2000s was, like in the 1990s, due to the successful drafting. 

    That those two Super Bowl appearances in the 2000s happened under two entirely different regimes—in 2000 under head coach Jim Fassel and general manager Ernie Accorsi and in 2008 under head coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese—is proof that the Giants as an organization have long understood and valued the importance of the NFL draft.

    In fact, when it comes to general managers the Giants are like the Pittsburgh Steelers and coaches. In the last three decades the Giants have had only three GMs—George Young, Ernie Accorsi and Jerry Reese. And each GM worked in the organization under their predecessor before taking over. 

    Talk about continuity and stability; it's no wonder that along with teams like the Steelers and Patriots the Giants are one of the elite teams in the NFL year in year out. 

    The following slideshow is a breakdown of every draft of the 2000s of the New York Giants. Each slide will include who the decision makers were, the selections, a brief analysis and final grade.

2000 Draft

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    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Jim Fassel

    General Manager— Ernie Accorsi

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— Ron Dayne

    Second Round— Cornelius Griffin

    Third Round— Ronald Dixon

    Fourth Round—Brandon Short

    Fifth Round— Ralph Brown

    Sixth Round— Dhani Jones

    Seventh Round— Jeremiah Parker

     

    Quick Analysis

    This draft had some productive players for the Giants but no one that could ever be considered a star for them. While Griffin was one of the better defensive tackles in the NFL for a few years during his career, those came after he had signed with the Washington Redskins.

    And don’t get me started on Dayne.

    This was a horrible draft for the Giants, as players were either busts, washouts or guys who developed into good players with other teams. The Giants got little return from this draft considering the expectations.

     

    Grade: D+

2001 Draft

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Jim Fassel

    General Manager— Ernie Accorsi

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— Will Allen

    Third Round— William Peterson

    Fourth Round— Cedric Scott

    Fourth Round — Jesse Palmer

    Fifth Round— John Markham

    Fifth Round— Jonathan Carter

    Seventh Round— Ross Kolodziej

     

    Quick Analysis

    Another dud of a draft for the Giants as which would help start the end of Jim Fassel. This draft was top heavy for the Giants, as only the Wills, both cornerbacks, did anything for the Giants… but even they didn’t turn out the way the Giants expected.

    Allen displayed some of the worst hands in the NFL during his time in the NFL, dropping countless interceptions and allowing too many big plays. The Giants let him leave as a free agent after his rookie contract expired, he signed with the Miami Dolphins and of course played better for them than he ever did for the Giants.

    Peterson, also a cornerback, was on his way to becoming one of the best all around cornerbacks in the NFL, got a huge contract, and then busted his back. He was never the same player again, was cut and changed his name to William James.

    Craptastic.

     

    Grade: D

2002 Draft

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    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Jim Fassel

    General Manager— Ernie Accorsi

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— Jeremy Shockey

    Second Round— Tim Carter

    Third Round— Jeff Hatch

    Fifth Round— Nick Greisen

    Sixth Round—Wesley Mallard

    Seventh Round— Daryl Jones

    Seventh Round— Quincy Monk

     

    Quick Analysis

    Another top-heavy draft lacking production from the lower rounds and the impact expected from the top rounds. And again, even though Jeremy Shockey and Tim Carter flashed potential, especially Shockey, injuries and attitude derailed their careers.

    Shockey is actually a classic draft cautionary tale. A specialist pass catching tight end he was drafted to be a playmaker for Fassel. Once Fassel was fired and Coughlin hired Shockey’s role disappeared not because Shockey was no longer a special player but because Coughlin had a much more traditional approach to the tight end position than Fassel.

    Lesson to be learned? Don't draft specialists high in the draft, (helloooo, Reggie Bush!)

    After Coughlin was brought on Shockey’s biggest contribution to the Giants was getting injured during their 2008 run to the Super Bowl and double-fisting cocktails during the big game in a suite. Class act. 

    Greisen was a nice linebacker for the Giants for a few years, but that was it.

     

    Grade: C-

2003 Draft

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Jim Fassel

    General Manager— Ernie Accorsi

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— William Joseph

    Second Round— Osi Umenyiora

    Third Round— Visante Shiancoe

    Fourth Round— Rod Babers

    Fifth Round— David Diehl

    Sixth Round— Willie Ponder

    Sixth Round— Frank Walker

    Sixth Round— David Tyree

    Seventh Round— Charles Drake

    Seventh Round— Wayne Lucier

    Seventh Round— Kevin Walter

     

    Quick Analysis

    This draft was an awesome draft for the New York Giants as it produced the NFL’s most versatile offensive lineman, the best special teams player in the NFL for a number of years and one of the franchises best pass rushers of all time. Not bad.

    Without Osi Umenyiora, David Diehl and David Tyree the Giants have no Super Bowl Rings for 2008.

    And Willie Ponder and Frank Walker weren’t bad players either. However this draft didn’t develop fast enough to save Jim Fassel’s job as the awfulness of the last few drafts, could be argued, doomed him. 

    Yes, William Joseph was a big bust, but Umenyiora in the second round alone counters that.

    Also remember that at the time of the draft Osi Umenyiora, who wasn't even invited to the Combine, was considered a huge reach. 

    However giving up too soon on Kevin Walter, who developed into a very good NFL wide receiver, hurts the grade a bit. 

     

    Grade: B+

2004 Draft

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Tom Coughlin

    General Manager— Ernie Accrosi

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— Phillip Rivers (Traded for Eli Manning)

    Second Round— Chris Snee

    Fourth Round— Reggie Torbor

    Fifth Round— Gibril Wilson

    Sixth Round— Jamaar Taylor

    Seventh Round— Andrew Stronjny

    Seventh Round— Isaac Hilton

     

    Quick Analysis

    This was a draft for the ages and the defining draft of Ernie Accorsi’s long and illustrious career with the New York Giants. Yes, Ernie sacrificed a lot for Eli Manning and yes Phillip Rivers has better stats than Eli but last I checked Eli has a ring and Phil doesn’t.

    And Chris Snee has been one of the NFL’s best guards in the NFL from the moment he stepped on the field, Reggie Torbor was a key contributor to the 2008 Super Bowl and so was Gibril Wilson. 

    All in all, this was the draft that shaped the course of the Giants in the 2000s. This was their make or break draft, luckily they made it. 

     

    Grade: A

2005 Draft

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Tom Coughlin

    General Manager— Ernie Accorsi

     

    Draft Picks

    Second Round— Corey Webster

    Third Round— Justin Tuck

    Fourth Round— Brandon Jacobs

    Sixth Round— Eric Moore

     

    Quick Analysis

    As good as the 2004 draft was, this draft might have been even better. This draft is proof that it is not how many draft picks you have, but how many you hit on. Brandon Jacobs, Justin Tuck and Corey Webster were all or still are stars in the NFL. Each one played a huge role in the Giants path to the 2008 Super Bowl.

    And the fact that the Chargers used the first rounder from this draft from the Giants trade to get Eli on Shawn Merriman, a known 'roider and fraud whose no longer on that team makes it even more satisfying.

     

    Grade: A

2006 Draft

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Tom Coughlin

    General Manager— Ernie Accorsi

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— Mathias Kiwanuka

    Second Round— Sinorice Moss

    Third Round— Gerris Wilkinson

    Fourth Round— Barry Cofield

    Fourth Round— Guy Whimper

    Fifth Round— Charlie Perpah

    Seventh Round— Gerrick McPhearson

     

    Quick Analysis

    Aside from Barry Cofield this draft was a major failure. Kiwanuka had one good healthy season for the Giants but probably won’t be back with the team past his rookie contract. Moss was a hard worker but could never see field. Same with Wilkinson.

    Cofield was far and away the best player from this draft, but even he is doubtful to be back with the Giants past his rookie contract. Not because he has little value, like Kiwanuka, but because he is more likely to get a bigger contract on the open market than by staying.

    This was Accorsi’s last draft before he retired.

     

    Grade: C-

2007 Draft

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    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Tom Coughlin

    General Manager— Jerry Reese

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— Aaron Ross

    Second Round— Steve Smith

    Third Round— Jay Alford

    Fourth Round— Zak DeOssie

    Fifth Round— Kevin Boss

    Sixth Round— Adam Koets

    Seventh Round— Michael Johnson

    Seventh Round— Ahmad Bradshaw

     

    Quick Analysis

    This draft is the reason why evaluating a draft after one year is always a mistake. While it is true the 2007 class played a huge role in the 2008 Super Bowl victory their rookie year to call them one of the greatest draft classes of all time is a huge overstatement.

    Basically this draft was loaded with fantastic role players and no stars, and that was true before Steve Smith got hurt. 

    But now that Steve Smith is hurt and Jay Alford is already not with the team due to injury, the grade takes an even bigger hit. 

    To top it off Aaron Ross’s best season was probably his rookie year, so you can see why my grade is probably lower than you expect.

     

    Grade: B-

2008 Draft

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    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Tom Coughlin

    General Manager— Jerry Reese

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— Kenny Phillips

    Second Round— Terrell Thomas

    Third Round— Mario Manningham

    Fourth Round— Bryan Kehl

    Fifth Round— Jonathan Goff

    Sixth Round— Robert Henderson

    Sixth Round— Andre Woodson

     

    Quick Analysis

    If Kenny Phillips never had to get knee surgery this draft would have been graded an easy A. But he did get injured, and that grade has to take a hit. Some would say I am nuts for that because injuries happen in football.

    But Phillips wasn’t injured; he had degenerative arthritis that ate his cartilage away in his knee. The fact the Giants didn’t diagnose this prior to drafting him is a no no in my book, fair or not.

    Otherwise Thomas is a star, Manningham one of the league’s best deep threats and Goff is a starter capable of developing into a stud.

     

    Grade: B+

2009 Draft

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Tom Coughlin

    General Manager— Jerry Reese

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— Hakeem Nicks

    Second Round— Clint Sintim

    Second Round— William Beatty

    Third Round— Ramses Barden

    Third Round— Travis Beckum

    Fourth Round— Andre Brown

    Fifth Round— Rhett Bomar

    Sixth Round— DeAndre Wright

    Seventh Round— Stoney Woodson

     

    Quick Analysis

    Looking at this draft there is a lot of talent, but so far not a lot of on field success. Hakeem Nicks has a shot at being the greatest wide receiver in Giant history and William Beatty looks like a keeper but beyond them this draft is still an unknown.

    No one knows if Clint Sintim, Travis Beckum and Ramses Barden will figure it out, but at this point they clearly haven’t. Andre Brown would have been a good player had an Achilles injury not destroyed his career.

    To think, Reese actually contemplated drafting Sintim in the first round over Nicks.

     

    Grade (Subject to change): B-

2010 Draft

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Decision Makers

    Head Coach— Tom Coughlin

    General Manager— Jerry Reese

     

    Draft Picks

    First Round— Jason Pierre-Paul

    Second Round— Linval Joseph

    Third Round— Chad Jones

    Fourth Round— Phillip Dillard

    Fifth Round— Mitch Petrus

    Sixth Round— Adrian Tracy

    Seventh Round— Matt Dodge

     

    Quick Analysis

    Way too early to give a complete grade, but it must be said Pierre-Paul showed uncanny development his rookie year and looks like a monster in the making.

    Sadly Chad Jones will probably never play a down for the Giants as he nearly lost his leg in a horrific car accident before even signing a contract with the team. 

    So if I were forced to give a grade for this draft right now I would give it a massive F if for no other reason than Matt Dodge.

    I lost years off my life due to that guy.

     

    Grade: Incomplete

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