2012 Draft Impact

If there is one thing that the 2011 season taught us it is that the power of a draft is often not seen until 1-2 years down the line. Consider these major contributors to the 2011 NYG Success:

Jason Pierre Paul – Strong rookie season. Breakout 2011

Linval Joseph – Played sparingly rookie season. Anchored center of the d-line in 2011.

Victor Cruz – IR rookie year. If I need to explain 2011 to you then you are on the wrong site.

Jake Ballard – Practice squad as a rookie. Emerged as an impact player at the TE position in 2011 essentially saving the Giants bacon as Travis Beckum (literally) fell flat on his face when given the chance to take over the position.

So the 2010 draft produced 3 players who emerged as pro-bowl caliber in 2011 after mostly inauspicious starts.

With that in mind let’s look at the 5 players from the 2011 draft class who could be set to break out in 2012.

Prince Amukamara – Comparison to current Giant – none – I would love for the Prince to emerge ala JPP or Victor Cruz as a big time shutdown corner in his second year. It seems like he has the tools. But, assuming, or even predicting he will is too much to ask for. Instead let’s hope that he can successfully replace Aaron Ross. If he can do this, and the Giants bring back Tryon, and TT at the corner positions, I’ll love our speed and depth.

Marvin Austin – Comparison to current Giant – Linval Joseph. Austin will be 2 years removed from playing a real game of football. Just as Linval didn’t get a chance to play much in 2010 Austin missed all of this year with a torn pectoral. Look for him to contribute in 2012 much like Anvil as he (likely) takes over for Rocky Bernard. He has the skill set to be a quality lineman for the Giants in 2012.

Jerrel Jernigan – Comparison to current Giant – Mario Manningham. Take a look at Manningham’s rookie season stats…

Games Rec YDS TD

8 4 26 0

And now his 2nd season stats…

Games Rec YDS TD

14 57 822 5

The Giants need Jernigan to make a similar leap as I have a sneaking suspicion that MM will be getting overpaid elsewhere (although with Al Davis gone I could be wrong). Wide receivers typically take a year to come into their own so I don’t think it is a stretch to see Jernigan putting up similar numbers to what Manningham did in year 2.

Jaquan Williams – Comparison to current Giant – Ahmad Bradshaw. This is a stretch b/c they are on different sides of the ball but here are the similarities. Ahamad saw significant playing time in his rookie season. He was a late round pick. He contributed to a Super Bowl win with his play during his rookie season.

However, when you compare his statistics from his rookie season…

Attempts YDS TD Rec YDS TD

23 190 1 2 12 0

To year two…

Attempts YDS TD Rec YDS TD

67 355 1 5 42 1

It is clear his playing time grew significantly and he was able to become a very valuable player, if not a full time starter. I see Williams in a similar light. He was very productive in specific situations in this being his rookie season. Look for a nice jump heading into year 2. In fact I see both he and my next highlighted player Mark Herzlich – as possibly leading Jerry Reese to move Kiwi back to end in 2012 and ultimately trading away Osi in a move to free up cap space to sign Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks to long term deals.

Bonus player – Mark Herzlich – Comparison to current Giant – Jake Ballard. Once again I will reach across the line of scrimmage to make a comparison. Ballard did not get a chance to contribute in 2010 but made a big leap in 2011. I think Herzlich may do the same. Both players lack traditional speed. But like Ballard, I believe Herzlich has great intangibles and a nose for being in the right place at the right time. Look for him to earn significant PT in 2012 and be especially effective on specials and at stopping the run from the strong side of the defense.

One thing is for certain. A 2011 rookie will have a big impact in 2012. Let’s hope it is all the guys listed above and more as we set our sites on a repeat in the season to come.


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