What can we learn from our just-concluded list of the worst 10 New York Giants No. 1 draft picks since 1960? Well, aside from the fact that during about a 30-year window the Giants made an awful lot of bad choices I think there are a few things we can take from our journey through some of the dumbest decision the franchise has ever made.
Here is a list of a few of those lessons:
- Do Not Draft Just For Need. This is the Cedric Jones Memorial Rule. Do not ever lock yourself in to the 'In this round we have to take a player at 'X' position' mentality, especially in the early rounds of the draft. That is how you wind up with Cedric Jones. Or Derek Brown. Or a franchise quarterback who turns out to be a bust. You look for value + need. When the two happen to meet, that is the best scenario. When they don't, take the value. Truth is, you never really know for sure what your needs will be. Exception to this rule: In the late rounds it is OK to identify a position and make sure you get a player to try and fill it.
- Do Not Draft A Guy Just Because He Can Run. This is the Rocky Thompson Memorial Rule. It could also apply to Thomas Lewis and several first or second-round picks from the Giants past, like Tim Carter. This is why I am still thankful Darrius Heyward-Bey was long gone a couple of years ago when the Giants drafted Hakeem Nicks. It's also why Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones and his 4.3 40-yard dash speed should come with a huge 'WARNING' label. Speed kills, sure, but it can also kill you when you draft a guy who has it -- but can't play football.
- College Trophies Mean Nothing In The NFL. This is the Ron Dayne Memorial Rule. Dayne won a Heisman Trophy at Wisconsin. All he won with the Giants was a reputation for being soft. Honorable Mention here goes to John Hicks, an Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award winner drafted No. 2 overall by the Giants in 1974. He was OK, but never amounted to more than an adequate player.
- Do Not EVER Draft Guys Named Brown. This is the Dave Brown-Derek Brown Memorial Rule. Honorable Mentions to Andre Brown and Ralph Brown. It seems Brown is DEFINITELY NOT the Giants' color. Apologies to Texas cornerback Curtis Brown and any other players named Brown in this draft class. Go somewhere else, fellas!
- Do Not Draft For A Position Just Because Everyone Else Is Doing It. This is the William Joseph Memorial Rule. The Giants took Joseph 25th in 2003. He was the fifth defensive tackle and ninth overall defensive lineman taken in that draft. Sorry, but when you are ninth-best at anything you shouldn't be getting drafted in the first round. If Willy Jo had been a third-round pick his production would have been fine. As a first-round pick, no.