New York Giants Draft Philosophy: Boring, But Effective

There were eight trades in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and about a gazillion over the course of the next six rounds (gazillion is a good number to use when you can't find the real total). Anyway, the point is that all of that activity took place without your defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants moving a muscle.

The Giants sat in the spots the draft gave them and, as usual, came out of the now three-day affair looking as if they had done solid work. This is why the Giants have won two Super Bowls in four years and four in their history. It is why they always have a chance to be good, and why the 4-12 season is a rarity while being in contention is the norm.

The Giants have a plan, they stick to the plan, they don't panic over one player or position (this also applies to Osi Umenyiora and his contract whining). They trust the process, that no matter when they select their will be good players on the board who can help them, and they trust their scouts to identify them.

Are they wrong sometimes? Certainly. They are right, however, way more often than they are wrong.

New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin described the Giants rather boring, workman-like approach to the draft.

"I think we take a lot of pride in getting the proper grade on the player. A lot of pride in ranking the players properly and then stacking the board and believing that there is going to be a good player for us to pick by virtue of showing patience and not doing a lot of maneuvering," Coughlin said. "We don't do a lot of trading. We don't do a lot of maneuvering. We do have a number of calls that come into the room offering to maneuver, a lot of which are ‘Are you interested in?' Of course, as you know, to move substantially, particularly if you're going to move up substantially, is going to cost you some picks. So we believe that we'll have an opportunity to draft a good football player, whether you're talking third, fourth round or whether you're talking even later in the draft."

This is the way George Young, the general manager who lifted the Giants from their deepest, darkest period, did business. He sat there, let the draft come to him and took the best player he could whenever it was his turn. It's the way he trained Ernie Accorsi, and the way Accorsi trained Jerry Reese, the current general manager.

The Giants have occasionally pulled the trigger on deals, the draft day mega-deal for Eli Manning being the one that the franchise is currently built on, of course. As a general rule, though, teams wanting to jump all around the draft board would be better served to call someone else rather than wasting Reese's time.

The two times I can remember the Giants moving up in recent years were to grab wide receivers Sinorice Moss and Ramses Barden. It seems that Reese has learned his lesson from those moves. I would use the word 'failure,' but Barden is still on the roster so I won't. Or, did I just use it, anyway?

"We've moved up to get guys before and it hasn't worked out that great for us," Reese said. "We're a little bit leery of moving up and taking guys. We've done that in the past and I don't think our success has been very good."

If you want to think the Giants "lost" Boise State running back Doug Martin this year because they would not move up to get in front of Tampa Bay, which took Martin at No. 31, Reese is fine with that. He will take David Wilson, which he did, then go on WFAN and tell Mike Francesa the Giants would not have selected Martin, anyway.

Yes, the method is methodical. Yes, it's boring. Yes, it can lead to fingernail biting and head-scratching during the draft.

The results, though, show that the Giants are competitive almost every season. In the end, that's what counts.

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