As draft day approaches, we know two things for sure in regards to the Giants:
The position of wide receiver is very high on their need list, and they have ten selections with which they can do as they please.
In light of the free-agency period (in which New York acquired Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard, Michael Boley, C.C. Brown, and Lee Vickers) coupled with the return of Osi Umenyiora, the Giants hardly have room for ten rookies on their roster as they prepare for the 2009 season.
So what does New York do with all their selections?
Many have responded by suggesting that the Giants should trade for a wide receiver. Others that they should trade up where they see fit.
How about a combination of both?
Up until now, mentioning the possibility of the Giants landing Michael Crabtree has been very much downplayed, but I believe that it is entirely feasible that if general manager Jerry Reese wanted to, he could acquire Crabtree.
As I examined the approach of each team heading into the upcoming draft, most teams in the top twenty would be willing to field calls in regards to a trade down. This sentiment takes root in where the value truly lies in the draft—between the twentieth and sixtieth selections where The Giants have three selections.
Allow me to break down why this is the case. This is what they call the draft value chart, where each selection is worth a certain number of points, it is used mainly as a reference tool for when teams desire to trade up or down.
In examining the draft, the reason for the value being where I had mentioned is as follows: as a general manager, would you rather have three selections between the twentieth and sixtieth slots where you can obtain three different prospective players (rated as high as the top two in their respective position) at reasonable prices, or one pick in the top ten who you have to allot a massive amount of money to despite having never stepped on the field?
I would be inclined to take the former, as one of the three is bound to become an impact player, and all would demand a lower combined salary. This explains why so many teams are willing to trade down.
By simply glancing at this chart, The Giants first three selections (29, 45, and 60) would have a combined worth of 1,410 points, or exactly that of the Oakland Raiders' (a team which has been connected to Crabtree for some time) seventh-overall selection.
For New York, wide receiver is their only true “need” on the entire roster. Though they are not star-studded at strong-side linebacker, they could certainly get by with the cast they have. The same can be said for the safety position. This makes the prospect of acquiring Michael Crabtree all the more interesting.
The scenarios which New York could acquire Crabtree are numerous:
New York trades the 29th, 45th, and 60th selections to Oakland
Considering the success rate (or lack there of) at which Oakland has had in regards to selecting top draft picks, they should really be considering trading down here.
Many project them to select an offensive tackle or a receiver, and at 29 they could likely still grab the likes of William Beatty and possibly Ebon Britton. Furthermore, either of Hakeem Nicks or Kenny Britt is bound to be there.
In round two, they could land the likes of Ramses Barden, Max Unger, Alex Mack, Jarron Gilbert, or Patrick Chung (should they wish to address defense).
If I were Al Davis, I wouldn’t even have to think about making that deal—but then again, I'm not Al Davis.
New York trades the 29th and 45th picks, plus Mathias Kiwanuka, to Buffalo
With Buffalo sitting at the eleventh slot, this would require Crabtree to slide a little bit. Regardless, Buffalo has a number of defensive needs, especially pass rusher.
Though many Giants fans have been reluctant to deal Mathias Kiwanuka, he only has two years left on his contract and he may look to walk considering how many time New York has changed his position. Couple that with the fact that he has been relegated to rotational role, and his long term value may not equal that of a stud wide receiver.
As for Crabtree himself, he runs solid routes, has great hands (which he puts to good use in traffic), and loves to go over the middle. His burst off the line of scrimmage is unparalleled, he is savvy after the catch, and he also works the sidelines very well. Every subtlety of his game makes his a candidate to instantly draw double coverage.
Crabtree plays big in big games and is extremely competitive. He would be a very dangerous target for Eli Manning for the remainder of both of their careers.
In my opinion, Crabtree is an under-rated prospect, as I fully believe that he will be better than Anquan Boldin and Braylon Edwards very soon.
That said, pulling the trigger on a deal for Crabtree would be a very bold move on the part of Jerry Reese, but considering his injury as well as the money that gets invested in top draft picks, other teams will be listening should Reese call them. I would have to think long and hard about making this deal. High draft picks are valuable, but Crabtree is a can’t-miss prospect.
As much as this seems possible, I doubt a savvy general manager would dump so many picks for one player.