The Giants' Draft: A Historical Perspective, Part II

Yesterday I ran Part I of this series, comparing the players the Giants drafted on the first day of the draft to players drafted around that slot in previous drafts and who played the same position. Today I'll be looking at the players the Giants drafted on Day 2, which we all know is the day that separates the wheat from the chaff, or Jerry Reese from Daniel Snyder. Starting with the Andre Brown, I'm only going to look the best case scenario, because not much is expected from such late picks that the majority of them haven't had much NFL success.

Round 3, Pick 85 - Ramses Barden, WR

Best Case Scenario - Many of you know that Ramses was my favorite pick in this draft, and I suspect many in the BBV Community feel the same way. A big part of the reason I began researching this topic was to see if there had been any good wide receivers drafted around the same slot in the draft as Barden, and I was pretty nervous that there wouldn't be anybody. It turns out that there have only been three wide receivers taken with the 85th pick, and none of them were anything special. The best of these was Ollie Smith, taken by the Baltimore Colts in 1973. Ollie only played 4 seasons and caught 44 passes in the NFL.

Before I could get too disappointed at the lack of success from players taken 85th, however, I glanced at the players taken 86th and saw a name that jumped off the page at me: Andre Reed, taken by the Buffalo Bills in 1985. Reed was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in the late 80's and early 90's, helping lead the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowl losses. He was a 7-time Pro Bowler, had 4 1,000 yard receiving seasons, and currently ranks 6th all-time in receptions, 10th in all-time receiving yards, and 11th in all-time receiving touchdowns. Taking out his injury shortened 1995, he averaged 66 receptions for 913 yards per season during his 14 years in Buffalo. There's a very decent likelihood that Reed will one day find his bust in Canton. Though his style of play is very different from Barden's, it is worth noting that Reed also came from a very small school, D-II Kutztown University. I know I'd be ecstatic if Barden's career is anything like Reed's, minus the whole losing four straight Super Bowls thing.

Worst Case Scenario - The 85th pick in '85 by the Minnesota Vikings, Buster Rhymes only caught 8 passes for 149 yards over 2 seasons. Technically, Rhymes wasn't a complete bust, considering he set an NFL record in his rookie season for total kick return yardage (since broken). Also, he was the inspiration for this guy, which is just awesome. Still, I know I'd be pretty disappointed if in 20 years the best thing I could say about Ramses Barden is that he inspired a rap star.

Round 3, Pick 100 - Travis Beckum, TE

Best Case Scenario - This one is so easy, I'm not even going to devote a whole paragraph to it. Prior to this year, only one other tight end had been drafted with the 100th pick. His name: Mark Bavaro.

Worst Case Scenario - Tight ends picked around the 100th slot have surprisingly been fairly productive. Travis McNeal and Michael Roan were taken in the 101st slot in 1989 and 1995 respectively, and though neither of them had great careers, it would be hard to call them busts. The Jets took Wes Howell with the 100th pick in 1983 and he never appeared in an NFL game, so I guess that's probably the worst case scenario for Beckum. The Redskins also took Kurt Haws 100th in 1990, he played in 6 games but didn't catch a single pass. So worst case scenario is probably that Beckum never makes an NFL catch.

Round 4, Pick 129 - Andre Brown, RB

While no running back taken around pick 129 has gone on to become a featured back, there have been two players who have had success in the NFL. For the first time in this series, the Redskins are being cited in a good way, as their 1990 pick of Brian Mitchell turned out to be a wise one. Though he never ran for more than 311 yards in a season, Mitchell became one of the best kickoff and punt returners in NFL history, leading the league in all-purpose yards 4 times.

Similarly, Darren Sproles of the Chargers has become one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Though he has primarily been a kick returner, the Chargers began using him more often on offense last season, so there's a chance he may eventually have more of an impact than Mitchell did. Both Mitchell and Sproles were taken with the 130th pick in their respective drafts.I don't think Brown profiles as a kick returner, but if he can have the same type of on-field impact as Mitchell and Sproles have had he can certainly help the Giants win some football games.

Round 5, Pick 151 - Rhett Bomar, QB

There have been a few capable backups taken in the 150's, including AJ Feeley of the Eagles, but the best QB taken in this area of the draft is Stan Humphries, drafted 159th by the Redskins in 1989. After two seasons in Washington Humphries was traded to the Chargers. Though he was never a superstar, he started for the Chargers for five full seasons before injuries forced him out of the league halfway through his sixth year in San Diego. He is most famous for leading the Chargers to Super Bowl XXIX in 1995, where they lost to Steve Young's 49ers.

Round 6, Pick 200 - DeAndre Wright, CB

I was actually surprised at how many defensive backs were taken this late in the draft that had pretty decent careers. Most of those, including current Indianapolis Pro Bowler Antoine Bethea, were safeties. The best cornerback taken this late in the draft was probably Eugene Daniel, also of the Colts. He was the 205th pick in the 1984 draft, and stepped right into the Colts starting defense, where he would remain for the next 13 years. He intercepted 38 passes in his career, including 6 as a rookie and 8 in his second year. Just for comparison, our very own Sam Madison also has 38 career interceptions, and Madison has been a four time Pro Bowler.

Round 7, Pick 238 - Stoney Woodson, CB

You can definitely tell we're in the 7th round here, because there haven't been too many success stories around pick 238. Just last year the Redskins took safety Chris Horton with the 249th pick, and he had a very nice rookie season and looks to be an impact player for years to come. In 1984, the Jets took Bobby Humphrey with the 247th pick, and he had a few good years as a kick returner before becoming a starting cornerback for the final three seasons of his career. The only Pro Bowl defensive back taken this late in the draft was actually a Giant, Reyna Thompson. He was drafted 247th by the Dolphins in 1984 and later made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player in 1990. To be completely honest, I don't remember him, but maybe some of you guys do. I think we all know not to expect to much from Stoney, but maybe he'll surprise us someday. Plus, it's not often you can draft a guy named Stoney and be able to say that he doesn't even have the coolest name of all your incoming rookies.

I had a lot of fun researching these picks, it was very interesting for me to see some very good players taken later in the draft. Obviously you shouldn't read this analysis as me saying that Travis Beckum is going to be the same type of player as Mark Bavaro, because by all accounts they are very different styles of tight end. What is interesting, to me at least, is that the Giants were able to get a guy as talented as Bavaro at that pick and it gives me hope that maybe Beckum will be just as talented, but in a different way. I also want to point out that this isn't a perfect analysis - we all know Tom Brady was taken almost 50 picks after where Bomar was drafted or that Ahmad Bradshaw was a successful 7th round pick. Mostly this is just a fun post-draft, pre-training camp diversion. We won't know anything about any of these guys until they actually put on the pads and step on the field.

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