2011 NFL Draft Grades: Report Card for the New York Giants Round 2 and 3

Jeff ShullAnalyst IApril 29, 2011

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 07:  Marvin Austin #9 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates with teammates after a 19-6 victory over the Duke Blue Devils during their game at Kenan Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I doubt many people are going to appreciate what Jerry Reese did in Round 2 and 3, but in the long run they could be great picks.

First off, the second round couldn't have gone worse in terms of the picks in front of the Giants. Dallas got the crazy athletic linebacker Bruce Carter, Tennessee snatched up Akeem Ayers, Arizona picked Ryan Williams, and the Colts traded up to take Ben Ijalana right before the Giants could get him.

However, the Giants got a high valued player when they took defensive tackle Marvin Austin of North Carolina. He is someone with first-round talent that has been hindered by some minor character issues.

Some may call them major, but he had a youthful lapse in judgment when he allegedly took benefits from an agent; several of the UNC players got in trouble for doing that in 2010.

Now he has a chip on his shoulder by going from a top 20 pick to a middle of the second round selection. He was dominant for three years before returning for his senior season.

He was the top defensive tackle when he was recruited by North Carolina, and if it weren't for this hiccup, he would have been a first rounder.

Here is what some of the Giants top coaches and front office guys had to say.

Director of College Scouting Marc Ross:

"Certain people you take a chance on if they're habitual problems," Ross said. "For instance, we took a chance on Mario (Manningham), we thought he was an isolated incidence where he made bad mistakes and we thought he was a good kid. We did a lot of work on him and he loved football, a good kid, he made bad decisions. Whereas other people you don't look at it in the same way. With Marvin, we think this kid loves football, loves to compete and is genuinely remorseful about what happened."

"The first couple of tackles taken were (Marcell) Dareus, (Nick) Fairley and talent-wise, he is right in the mix, if he were clean, he would have been a top-15 pick I believe."

Head Coach Tom Coughlin:

"We took a very talented defensive lineman that has had some issues, without a doubt," Coughlin said. "We did a lot of studying on this guy, with probably seven or eight of our people that were at the workout at North Carolina. We had a private interview with him at the combine.

And I spent quite a few minutes on the phone with him prior to telling him that we would be drafting him in the second round and that there were some very high expectations for him if he were to come here and be a New York Giant. I think he understood that."

General Manager Jerry Reese also mentioned that they had done extensive scouting on him and felt the value was too much to pass up.

"We did a lot of work on him," Reese said. "He was very highly-rated on our board. The value was tremendous at that point. We did a lot of homework on him. We couldn't pass him up.

"He is explosive. This guy can get off the ball with tremendous speed. He has got a nasty motor and mean demeanor about him. Somebody described him as Keith Hamilton, not the body type but that nasty demeanor. So I like to have some big nasty guys in your front."

Marvin Austin was also interviewed after the selection:

"I feel like I'm one of the best athletes in the draft and I feel like I'm ready to go out there and perform," Austin said. "I learned that every decision you make is an important decision. Some of the things that are said and the way people are saying it, I feel that some people feel that I am a bad person, which is not the case at all. I am just a good guy who made a bad decision and I am ready to move on and ready to become a Giant.

Me and Coach Coughlin had a good conversation a very healthy conversation. He told me what's to be expected of me. I told him I am ready to be a professional and ready to come in.

Just given my situation, it was an extremely humbling experience to go from one of the top players in the country to being a guy that nobody wants to talk about. It was extremely humbling."

With the uncertainty surrounding Barry Cofield, many expected the Giants to take a defensive tackle in the first three rounds, so this was no surprise when he fell to the Giants, given that the rest of their coveted players were gone.

Grade: B


With their third-round pick, the Giants wasted no time finding someone who will immediately become the starting return man for the Giants.

He had two returns for touchdowns in 2010 and over 900 return yards. He averaged 23 yards per kick return in the past two years as the team's premier return man.

Another thing the Giants love about him is his versatility. He played QB, RB, WR, and kick returner in college, and his 4.4 speed is something the Giants don't have at the wide receiver position.

As a receiver he is raw, but he is the perfect fit for the Giants as he catches the ball well with his hands and can take hits over the middle. He had 262 receptions in four years at Troy, and could be a weapon for Eli Manning in the slot.

Jernigan can change a game with one play, something the Giants haven't had in a long time.

Grade: B+