Why this draft has the potential to be as good, if not better, than our fabled 2007 draft class.Round: 1
Pick: Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska
Projected Round: Top 10
What it means: Nobody saw this coming. Nobody. We all know that the Giants have power. Goff is a punishing hitter in the middle. Our defensive line speaks for itself when it comes to brutality. TT is a solid tackler. Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle are hammers in the deep. What we have in power, we lacked in speed. Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Leonard Hankerson are all speedsters that can stretch the field. With Amukamara, we have a scheme versatile (that is, zone and man-to-man versatility) that has blazing closing speed and strong power to help lock down half of the field.
He is instantly the most athletic player in our secondary, and can contribute immediately as our new nickel corner back. I would not be surprised if the top 2 corners by mid-season are Prince and CWeb. TT is more suited to covering the slot, and Aaron Ross becomes the most talented dime corner in the league. Adam Schefter said it best: We have the best depth at CB at a more manageable price than if we got Nnamdi. CB has great positional value as well.
Not only this, but Aaron Ross now is able to spend more time on ST, instantly upgrading that unit as well. Jerry Reese made a brilliant move by not moving and sticking to his strategy of picking BPA, and it paid off in spades. The perfect pick at our slot.
Pick: Marvin Austin, DT
Projected Round: Top 25
What it means: The first thing that struck me when this pick was made, was that Barry Cofield was gone. Perhaps that is case, because Austin is probably the most balanced DT in the draft behind Marcel Dareus. He gets strong penetration up front, but can also hold up at the point of attack to be a strong run stopper. If he were in last year's draft, he was projected as a top-10 pick.
He was suspended and does have a few character concerns, but Jerry Reese believe s that he will play with a chip on his shoulder, and if that's the case, he will become a starter for us if Cofield is gone. I can see him fitting right in, next to Linval as a penetrating 3-technique, while Linval acts as the nose. He can free up our defensive ends even more, and solely in my opinion, is a more balanced, and thus, higher upside prospect than Nick Fairley.
This pick is even more important when we consider that we don't know who will leave in FA and who we can pick up, so BPA is even more important in this case, and Jerry Reese showed that already. Plus, we have a nice track record from picks that come from UNC.
Pick: Jerrel Jernigan, WR Troy
Projected Round: 2
What it means: Another value pick for the Giants. During Reese's pre-draft press conference, he stated that he was uneasy about not being able to resign free agents and shore up need areas before the draft. This pick, more than anything else, shows that he wasn't lying. He doesn't know if he will lose SS12 (as sad as that would be).
More so than that, it gives us some real talent in the slot, should SS12 become injured. I have the belief that Eli's dependence on large WRs is overrated; he's much more dependent on the shorter, more sure-handed slot receivers. This pick also shows that not only were the Giants pissed at the dearth of WRs last year, but also at their ST situation.
As we saw with the safety situation last year, when Reese sniffs out a weakness, he goes out and aggressively attacks it. Jernigan gives us a weapon as either a gunner or returner.
Also: WILDCAT! Boom.
Pick: James Brewer, OT Indiana
Projected Round: Late 2nd - Early 3rd
What it means: Yes, this is a perceived need for the Giants, but I don't believe for a second that it factored in too much into this decision. I've seen Brewer going as early as mid 2nd and as late as mid 3rd. In the later part of round 4, we have our 4th consecutive steal.
Brewer is a left tackle in a right tackle's body. He's athletic, that's for sure, but is more finesse than power. That's not necessarily a big problem though. This shows me that the Giants are still pretty high on William Beatty to lock down the left side, and are actively looking for McKenzie's replacement. Kareem was incredible last year, and there's zero chance anybody takes his spot at RT this year, so a mentoring year for Brewer could come in handy.
If Brewer can get stronger (and a few NFL weight room sessions should certainly help), by 2013 at the latest, he's our starting RT. He certainly has the footwork to run out into space and become a nice lead blocker. He won't be a road grader, but he'll be agile enough to pack a punch earlier than most. I love this pick for the future.
Pick: Greg Jones, ILB Michigan State University
Projected Round: 2-3
What it means: Yeah, I'm not joking about that round projection. This is instantaneously my favorite pick in our entire draft. Before the combine, he was projected to go late 1st, and was usually selected around 8th or 9th in the 2nd. The value for this pick is disgusting, and I literally fell out of my seat when he became the pick.
The Giants were similarly ecstatic when they picked him, and hope that he'll be a starter for them. How do I know this? Think about it: in the later rounds, most all of the picks by the Giants are athletes and scheme versatile players. Players that can help during special teams because of their physical skill sets. Yet, the biggest knock on Greg Jones is his athleticism. So why the hell would he be the pick, then?
For those of you who do not like this pick, yet wanted Mason Foster in the 3rd, I have trouble understanding your logic. Foster's biggest knock was his athleticism. So is Greg Jones. They have similar 40 times (Foster was 4.70, Jones was 4.69 and are similar sizes). Foster's biggest strength was his instincts, and it showed in his production; he had 378 career tackles and was team captain and leader. Jones? His instincts were just as good, if not better. Production? How about 465 career tackles and 16.5 sacks? He's a more polished pass rusher as well, and is (in my opinion) better in coverage. He has by far the best intangibles of the bunch. Because of his size, he plays with fire, intensity, and a chip on his shoulder. He is a 3-year team captain and AP 1st team All American. Yes, to get him in the 6th is a steal of gigantic proportions.
He's the prototypical T2 LB. He can play in the middle or outside. His coverage skills are up to the task, and his sideline-to-sideline agility and zone coverage is second only to Akeem Ayers. His ability to drop into deep middle coverage is a concern, but its certainly much, much better than Goff's. His tackling is fundamentally sound and violent. He's probably going to compete for our starting SAM with Sintim, but I could see him becoming our MLB and Goff moving to SAM (where his pass coverage duties are much less and tackling could be used better). I honestly don't care about his size. Look at Brian Urlacher, Barrett Ruud, Gary Brackett, Pat Angerer, etc., if you want. Similarly sized, and prototypical T2 LBs.
To get a potential impact starter in the 6th round is insane. Insane.
Pick: Tyler Sash, SS
Projected Round: 3
What it means: Seriously? What the hell are other teams doing? Sash is much like Greg Jones in that his measurables won't blow you away, but he's always around the ball. I feel like Tom Coughlin is going to be ecstatic at this draft class. Tyler Sash is a lunch pail, blue collar type that just makes plays. He was most definitely drafted to make an impact during those 3-safety sets that Fewell loves to run. He's a more physical, ball-hawking version of Deon Grant, but he's a highlight reel type tackler that decides to collide into his opponents rather than wrap up.That needs to be addressed.
However, its his awareness, and zone coverage skills that really makes him shine. If he can add on some weight, I could see him pull an Urlacher and become our permanent T2 MLB. Regardless, he'll obviously be a strong contributor and get significant game time action. And we took this dude in what round again? Wait, 6? Oh crap!
Pick: Jacquain Williams, OLB University of South Florida
Projected Round: 7th - UDFA
What it means: At first glance, my reaction was similar to everyone else's: WTF? But after looking into this prospect (I'll admit this is the one prospect I didn't know about out of all the others we drafted), it seems like the prototypical Jerry Reese pick. Definitely raw. Definitely an athlete. He's got a good blend of size and speed (230 lbs and 4.5 40), which is obviously slated for ST action.
As a side note, however, this further convinces me that we are committed to the Tampa-2 defense. From the little that I found on Williams, he seems like a good fit for the type of LB that we need. That is: speed, tackling, and coverage skills. Marc Ross said that he was someone that the Giants had their eye on and wanted to keep a secret, and not a lot of people knew about. Well, they feel that we got a steal. I don't know too much about him, and I liked other prospects there instead, so I don't like this pick. However, Reese knows what he's doing, so I've got faith in this one.
Pick: Da'Rel Scott, RB Maryland
Projected Round: 4-5
What it means: Speed kills. He was the fastest RB in the combine, and has great strength for his size as well. It's pretty obvious that's why JR was intrigued with him. Scott doesn't have very good agility or cut back prowess, but he's an adequate pass blocker, and pass catching running back, which is the two biggest things the Giants are looking for in a RB.
He's there for insurance against Ahmad leaving in FA, but assuming Bradshaw resigns with us, Scott will compete with D.J. Ware for the 3rd spot. He'll be another dynamic gunner or return man for us in ST. All in all, he's the 6th steal that the Giants get in the draft. Awesome pick.
From this draft, I think I have a better understanding of where the Giants want to go this off-season:
- The need for C is evidently overblown if the Giants weren't willing to pick up a single one in the draft. They must have confidence in a tandem of O'Hara, Koets, and Boothe to pick up the slack this year. Also, in my opinion, after Pouncey and the Wiz were gone, there wasn't really anybody worth picking up anyway.
- The Giants want speed. And lots of it. Prince Amukamara, Marvin Austin, Jerrel Jernigan, Jacquain Williams and Da'Rel Scott bring some serious speed to our game. And I friggin' love it.
- That's not to mention the hard-working, leadership, types aren't there. Greg Jones and Tyler Sash certainly fill that role. For those looking for a "leader" on defense, I will say that Tuck is the unquestioned captain, but the LB corps will find a fiery and violent leader in Jones. Sash and Jones will bring some of that anger back into the Giants.
- There was indeed a huge emphasis on ST. Explained how already in the picks explanations above.
- Definitely think this was a vote of confidence for William Beatty. No LT prospect was taken this year.
- I think the Giants like Bear Pascoe to stay at FB. Gives them a pass catching presence back there, and he was a more than adequate blocker. I also think this means that they aim to resign Kevin Boss. If we want a blocking TE, I think Petrus, Boothe, or Andrews are more than capable of filling that spot.
- Bradshaw, Boss, Kiwanuka, Smith stay. I think Cofield is gone. Sad to hear it, but I think it'll be true. Hopefully he's a RFA after the new CBA so we can at least trade him and get maybe a 2nd or 3rd in return.
- We crushed the rest of the NFC East, and are right up there with Detroit and New Orleans as the best drafts in the NFL (way too early to tell of course, but this is my opinion.)