As we approach the draft, lets take a look at who Jerry Reese has picked, round by round, and use the information to predict who will be in Big Blue come late April:
2007 Pick 20: Aaron Ross, CB
2008 Pick 31: Kenny Phillips, FS
2009 Pick 29: Hakeem Nicks, WR
2010 Pick 15: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE
Analysis: Obviously, we all know Jerry Reese follows the BPA strategy. It's intriguing, however, after doing some research, just how close JR's big board is compared to us "outsiders." The first round is one of two rounds where Reese goes purely BPA. Aaron Ross was consensus 17th-18th best player. Kenny Phillips was considered top-15. Nicks was widely heralded as being in a tie for 4th best WR (behind Crabtree, Maclin, Harvin but tied with Heyward-Bey and Britt), and held a top 25 grade. Pierre-Paul was thought to be long gone by the time the Giants picked in the middle of round one. At the time, besides Nicks, the other players were not of positions of high need at all, but WR, DE, FS, and CB all hold high positional value as well. Each player seemed to be the very last player of the highest tier that happened to fall, and the Giants snapped them up. It seems that in the 1st round, Reese also doesn't care about college production too much, as well, as long as the player has a good blend of size and speed. Which each player did; each has the prototypical body type for their position. What Reese does seemingly care about is character; there were no character concerns in any of his picks. Also, there were no picks from smaller schools (USF, I would definitely consider as a larger football program), probably because he feels safer in that regard.
Pick Prediction: Mike Pouncey, C/G Florida. This is the perfect Jerry Reese pick. Why? Prototypical size for his position. We also get good value, as Pouncey is ranked right around 15-16, with a realistic chance of going to New England at 17. However, he probably will fall to us because New England will either trade down/take a DE/OLB instead. He's been compared to his brother, which is another way of saying his upside is enormous. He's got no character concerns, and he plays for a large football program. Check, check, and check.
2007 Pick 51: Steve Smith, WR
2008 Pick 63: Terrell Thomas, CB
2010 Pick 46: Linval Joseph, DT
Analysis: This is the one round where I believe Reese ends up trying to fulfill the team's biggest needs. If he hadn't done so already (Kenny Phillips, Hakeem Nicks), Reese will not hesitate to "reach" a little to fulfill what the team is looking for. Of course, at the time, Sintim and Beatty were fantastic values, as both were considered potential 1st rounders. Terrell Thomas was an early 2nd round value, so he was terrific value as well, but no one can deny that in each of those years, each pick fulfilled a need. According to most boards, Linval Joseph was a consensus late 2nd to 3rd rounder, so it would have been considered a reach by Reese. Again, character concerns are not present in any of these draft picks, but this time, it seems like Reese is willing to gamble a bit more with the school. College production also seems to factor into the decision here as well; each player had productive years right before they were drafted.
Pick Prediction: Mason Foster, OLB Washington. Everybody and their mother knows that the biggest need going into the offseason is the SLB. Mason Foster seems like the prototypical Jerry Reese 2nd round draft pick. He's not necessarily the best 4-3 'backer (Akeem Ayers, Martez Wilson, and Bruce Carter are all ahead of him and taken), but he is decent value at 2.19, and fills our largest need. He was very productive last year, with 162 tackles and 7 sacks, and has no character concerns.
2007 Pick 81: Jay Alford, DT
2008 Pick 95: Mario Manningham, WR
2010 Pick 79: Chad Jones, SS
Analysis: This is where Reese gets a little zany. Each player that was picked in this round was a high profile player that fell for one reason or another. Mario Manningham fell because teams just thought he was stupid, but everyone had him pegged as a 1st round talent. Ramses Barden has a ridiculous size, and insane production, but fell because he's not Division I (He was also probably the highest profile DII player in the draft). Chad Jones was an early 2nd round talent that fell because people thought he might defect to baseball. In any case, these were not huge needs for the Giants, but rather, were Reese's "risky" picks. Manningham and Jones did have a few character concerns coming out of college. However, no one can deny the value that Reese had gotten out of the picks at that time.
Pick Prediction: Ryan Williams, RB Virginia. You must be thinking, what? There's no way Ryan Williams will last until the 3rd round! Again, he's a high profile prospect that I can see falling precipitously because he had a putrid campaign this past season. Nobody can argue with the value that we'd be getting, and again, seems like the prototypical Jerry Reese pick.
2007 Pick 116: Zak DeOssie, LB
2008 Pick 123: Brian Kehl, LB
2009 Pick 129: Andre Brown, RB
2010 Pick 115: Phillip Dillard, LB
Analysis: So does anything stand out to you? Anything at all? How about that 3 out of the 4 picks were linebackers? It goes to show just how much Reese values linebackers. With the exception of Clint Sintim (who I believe was taken because of his pass rushing prowess, not the position he played), Reese values linebackers as mid-round picks, and each of these 'backers were productive playmakers at their respective schools. Andre Brown was the lone exception to this rule because Clint Sintim was such an early pick. The 4th round was also the round to address needs, more so than going BPA (RB was indeed a "need" because that was when we let go of Derrick Ward and were not sure of what we had in Bradshaw.)
Pick Prediction: Kendric Burney, CB UNC. Yes, he's short. Yes, he's slow. No, he's not a linebacker. So why is he the pick? If you notice, the only time a linebacker was not picked in the 4th was because that year, he was picked in the 2nd. Its the same case this year. In the mid-rounds, as you can see, Jerry Reese looks for quality "football" players with a high football IQ. This is the case for rounds 4 and 5. He saves his athletic freak fetish for the very early and very late rounds. Burney does not have break away speed, but is a ballhawk in the truest sense of the word. This makes him an ideal zone coverage corner. At this point in the draft, Reese does not care about measurables as much, and so I could easily see Burney being the pick here.
2007 Pick 153: Kevin Boss, TE
2008 Pick 165: Jonathon Goff, MLB
2009 Pick 151: Rhett Bomar, QB
2010 Pick 147: Mitch Petrus, OG
Analysis: This round is completely about drafting for the future. None of those picks were needs by any stretch, but each was a steal. Kevin Boss was slated to go late 3rd, Bomar was a consensus high round pick that fell because of character concerns. Petrus, after blowing away the combine, was supposed to go in the 3rd. At the 2007 draft, we still had Jeremy Shockey. Goff was taken when we had Antonio Pierce. Bomar, when we had Eli, but we took him to groom him to be the backup/future. Petrus, of course, was taken at an already strong guard position. I believe (and I think that Reese does as well) that the 5th round is the last round where you have a legitimate chance of finding starting caliber talent. After that the drop off is massive.
Pick Prediction: No pick. Well that was easy, wasn't it? We lost this pick because we traded for Sage Rosenfels and Darius Reynaud. However, I'm not going to let myself off the hook that easy. If we did have a pick, it would be Joseph Barksdale, OT LSU. Barksdale is another talent that would be a steal to receive at the 5th round, because he was a strong competitor at LSU, but had a mediocre combine and his stock has been falling. With some coaching up, he has a chance to be successful, and I have a hard time seeing Reese pass on a pick like this.
2007 Pick 189: Adam Koets, OT
2008 Pick 198: Andre Woodson, QB, Pick 199: Robert Henderson, DE
2009 Pick 200: DeAndre Wright, CB
2010 Pick 184: Adrian Tracy, LB
Analysis: This round is quite similar to the 5th round, in my eyes. Reese will basically take a flier on these picks, regardless of school program or character concerns. He will almost always draft at a position of need in the 6th. Each one of these picks was based on a position where the Giants had depth issues that particular year. It's almost as if Reese used these selections with the hopes that someone would be a wildcard and become a massive hit.
Pick Prediction: Henry Hynoski, FB Pittsburgh. Fullback is almost certainly a need for the Giants. Bear Pascoe did more than an admirable job, but if we take a true FB, it can clear him to go back to being a productive blocking TE. One does not simply draft a FB in the hopes of an instant impact, but Hynoski has the potential to do just that. Again, another typical Reese pick.
Compensatory Pick 1: Jordan Cameron, TE USC. Not to be confused with Cameron Jordan, the monster DE from Cal, Jordan Cameron is a very, very raw prospect coming out of USC. A converted basketball player, Cameron is a project, but one with JPP levels of upside. Another "risk" as a 6th round pick for Jerry Reese.
Compensatory Pick 2: Chris Conte, SS California. Prototypical size at 6'3 200lbs, Conte is another athletic gem (ran a sub 4.6), with not alot of experience. Started only his senior year, but was decently productive and is a great tackler. He's got great agility, so if not for safety depth, he should be able to find a roster spot as a ST demon.
2007 Pick 224: Michael Johnson, SS, Pick 250: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB
2008 No Pick
2009 Pick 238: Stoney Woodson, CB
2010 Pick 221: Matt Dodge, P
Analysis: Every single pick seems to be used with only special teams in mind. That's basically it.
Pick Prediction: Ricardo Lockette, KR/PR Fort Valley State. Small school, almost no football experience. The dude ran a 4.34 at 211 lbs, though. He's even been clocked at 4.26. That sort of break neck speed could do wonders on our gunning unit, or our return game.