The 2012 NFL draft is over and done with, and now that we don't have the draft to anticipate, it's going to be a long time until real football stuff starts to happen again. While this sucks, it gives us amateurs all sorts of time to analyze the guys we've drafted until real football comes along.The last few drafts for the Giants have featured lots and lots of defense, especially in the early rounds. In 2010 there was JPP and Linval as our first two round picks, and the following year it was Prince and Austin. There have also been other early selections like Kenny Phillips, Aaron Ross, and Clint Sintim. Drafting for defense has worked, and once healthy, our defense proved how good they could really be. But hold on, if that's the case, then why did Eli look so good this year? Well two answers, Eli is really damn good, and Eli helps the players around him look really damn good. I'm not saying guys like Cruz, Manningham, or Ballard aren't talented, but playing with Eli really elevates their play and allows them to get the most production out of their skill set. So while this is a good thing, imagine what our offense would look like if we surrounded Eli with a bunch of early round picks. I mean it worked out great with Nicks and Steve Smith. Not so much with Sinorice Moss......but we don't talk about him round here. Well it seems JR and Co. thought that it was about time to upgrade Eli's weapons.
The first two picks of this years draft really prove to me how much JR wanted to up the offense that is around Eli. David Wilson concerned me when we picked him. I thought there were better players on the board. I think that JR probably wanted Doug Martin ahead of Wilson. But I'm a fan, so what do I know? Point is the Giants took a fast, explosive Running Back that knows how to make plays. Did you see our running game this year? Sure our line blew as well, but we lacked an explosive force in the backfield as well. It wasn't my favorite pick, but it instantly added a spark to our offense.
In the second, Ruben Randle was a steal. Honestly if you flipped the Randle and Wilson picks, I'd tell you I was a little happier. Comparisons to Hakeem Nicks are a good thing. The fact that he worked with the sucky LSU QB's and is now coming to play with Eli is a good thing. He has the potential to be a huge upgrade over Mario Manningham just because of the fact that he knows a lot of his route tree already, which means he'll probably have great communication with Eli from early on. This is a HUGE reason as to why Cruz is so successful playing with Eli.
The fourth round of this draft confirmed for me that JR really wants to see Eli surrounded by weapons and playing with a top tier offense these next few seasons. They could have gone many different ways, addressing some concerns at safety or linebacker, but instead JR gets what people are calling the JPP version of a TE in Robinson, and an athletic Tight End-turned-Lineman with a mean streak in Mosely. Between the athleticism of our free agent pick up Bennett, the athleticism Robinson possesses, the fact that Mike Pope can turn almost any TE into a serviceable player on the offense, and the fact that Eli makes the players around him better, it seems to me that JR is going for the Gronk/Graham/Finley type Tight Ends that are successful in this league.
All in all, the Giants are going for a new offensive look. One that dominates the league and causes match-up nightmares for defenses. JR wants the common problem among opposing teams to be "Who do we cover? Who won't burn us as badly if we leave them in single coverage or even wide open?" And if all goes according to plan, the only answer to that question will be Eli throwing a TD to one of his many weapons. Or David Wilson gashing a defense and turning it up field for six. Lord knows we haven't seen that in a while.