So despite the fact that the Giants still have not taken a linebacker or offensive lineman in the 2011 NFL Draft, they landed another high-value, high-risk player in the second round Friday. Then they took a wide receiver in the third round, which has to raise immediate questions about the health of Steve Smith and how concerned the Giants are about him. Then again, none of any of this matters without a labor deal, and late Friday the news came down that an appeals court in St. Louis ruled to stay the lockout until a formal appeal can be heard by the owners. Read this and weep, because with the appeals process likely to take up to two months, we are now going to be butting up to the preseason.
NFL lockout returns to player, team dismay - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
The players who showed up smiling and relieved to be back at work Friday morning are now cooling their heels during perhaps the most chaotic offseason ever. The ups and downs of the day—and the weeks and months of this labor dispute—may be taking their toll with the first preseason game little more than three months away.
As League Starts and Stops, Draft Picks Keep Coming - NYTimes.com
Labor uncertainty provided the surreal backdrop again. Yet even when the N.F.L.’s lockout was temporarily reinstated by an appeals court midway through the round, the spectacle at Radio City Music Hall continued uninterrupted.
Okay, now that I've killed your football buzz, let's look at the immediate reaction to the Giants selecting DT Marvin Austin from North Carolina in the second round.
Giants follow Prince Amukamara first round pick with second rounder Marvin Austin from UNC
If the Giants got a steal with their first-round draft pick in Prince Amukamara, Friday night's second-round pick could end up being the grandest heist of all. Otherwise, the Giants could be left holding the bag. Marvin Austin comes to them as a risk. He was suspended for his entire senior season at North Carolina, was suspended for two games in 2008 and benched for two games in '09. All that will not matter if the 6-2, 309-pound defensive tackle can create havoc like the guy he was once compared to - last year's Rookie of the Year, Ndamukong Suh.
In Second Round, Giants Get First-Round Potential With Marvin Austin - NYTimes.com
On the second night of the draft, the Giants again received more value than their position on the board, taking defensive tackle Marvin Austin of North Carolina with the 52nd pick. While adding the talented Austin, the Giants failed to address their depth concerns on the offensive line.
Yep, but Tom Coughlin even said that the NFL is a high-risk business, and he's right. And if (yes, a big IF) Austin can be more like Suh on the field and less like Albert Haynesworth off it, this could turn out to be a huge pick for the G-men.
Giants select Troy wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan in third round of 2011 NFL Draft | NJ.com
There is a good amount of uncertainty with the health of the Giants' wide receivers right now, especially with Steve Smith in his recovery from knee surgery. So with their third-round pick, No. 83 overall, the team drafted a bit of insurance in Troy wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan, a player who impressed the Giants with his versatility as a a slot receiver, Wildcat quarterback, high-school quarterback, returner and all-around special-teams contributor.
How Jerrel Jernigan fits in with Giants - NFC East Blog - ESPN
He's a speedy wide receiver who can also return punts and kickoffs. The Giants were one of the worst teams in punt returns last season and desperately need speed on special teams. Jernigan worked on returning punts with former Troy player and Buffalo Bills special teams standout Leodis McKelvin. He's considered to be a shifty threat after the catch, and played some Wildcat at Troy.
We can only hope now that the Giants address their glaring needs at linebacker and their lack of offensive line depth with the next few picks, unless they are thinking in terms of free agency for both. Jerry Reese likes to draft the best talent available rather than need, but he can't bolster the front and back of the defense and then have three mannequins playing linebacker, can he? I'm sure you guys have plenty to say on this, so let it rip......