You want the poster child for why you don't go strictly for need in the first round of the NFL Draft? Our No. 6 selection among worst No. 1 draft picks by the New York Giants is the perfect example. That would be defensive end Cedric Jones of Oklahoma, taken fifth overall in 1996.
If you study the draft, or know Giants history at all, you should Jones' story. The Giants watched defensive end Simeon Rice (3rd to Tampa Bay) and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden (4th to Baltimore) come off the board in the two picks previous to theirs. The Giants' brass had its heart set on Rice, apparently, and felt a pass-rushing defensive end was what it had to have. So, Jones was chosen as a consolation prize.
It did not pan out. Jones turned out to have vision problems that limited him to playing only on the right side. He had a hamstring injury as well his rookie year. He did not become a starter until his fourth season as a Giant, and was out of the NFL after five seasons. He did compile 15 sacks his final three seasons, but was never a real impact player.
Players the Giants Could Have Had
The list of players drafted in the first round who the Giants passed on to take Jones really makes you shake your head.
Terry Glenn (7th, WR, New England) ... In a 12-year career Glenn caught 593 passes
Eddie George (14th, RB, Tennessee) ... Four-time Pro Bowler, more than 10,000 yards rushing in his career.
Marvin Harrison (19th, WR, Indianapolis) ... Eight-time Pro Bowler, 1,102 receptions
Ray Lewis (26th, MLB, Baltimore) ... Twelve-time Pro Bowler, future Hall of Famer, still playing.
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