In today's NFP Sunday Blitz column Dan Pompei of the National Football Post examines the third round of the NFL Draft, and finds that many of the best players in the league -- both past and present -- have been drafted in the third round.
Taking a risk makes sense in the third round. Many times, players are available in the third round who have first-round ability. But they have some hickey -- perhaps it’s character, medical or inconsistency -- that has influenced teams to exercise caution. The value of a third-round pick is such that teams are willing to gamble with them where they would not be so willing with earlier selections.
The Giants, of course, took Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore in the third round this year -- a player who fell out of first-round consideration due to some poor workouts and interviews during the pre-draft process. Early reports on Moore have been positive, but whether he joins the list of great players to be found in the third round is something we won't know for several seasons.
What we do know is that the Giants recent history in the third round has not been very good. Since the year 2000, in fact, the Giants have really only had two third-round choices -- Justin Tuck and Mario Manningham -- make a real impact. Let's run them down.
- 2000 -- Ron Dixon. Caught 36 passes in three seasons and ran a kickoff back for a touchdown in the Super Bowl loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Then, he was out of the league.
- 2001 -- Will James. Was Will Peterson when the Giants drafted him. Has more name changes than Pro Bowl appearances.
- 2002 -- Jeff Hatch. Offensive tackle who wrecked his back and played in only four NFL games.
- 2003 -- Visanthe Shiancoe. A long career, but his real success was with the Minnesota Vikings and not the Giants.
- 2004 -- No third-round pick.
- 2005 -- Justin Tuck. The best of the third-rounders we will mention. The pressure is on him to show he can still play, but he has 49.5 career sacks, two Pro Bowls, an All-Pro honor and two Super Bowl rings. Not bad.
- 2006 -- Gerris Wilkinson. A linebacker who never amounted to anything.
- 2007 -- Jay Alford. Showed some promise, had a sack in the 2007 Super Bowl victory, but wrecked his knee and his career.
- 2008 -- Mario Manningham. Behind Tuck, the best of the third-round picks. A huge catch in the 2011 Super Bowl victory, and 160 receptions in four seasons with New York before moving on.
- 2009 -- Rames Barden and Travis Beckum. Waste and double waste. The Giants have gotten very little from either player.
- 2010 -- Chad Jones. Devastating car crash wrecked his career before it got started. Now trying his hand at baseball.
- 2011 -- Jerrel Jernigan. Ugh! Still has a chance, but has all of three receptions for 22 yards in two season.
- 2012 -- Jayron Hosley. Struggled at corner as a rookie. The 2013 season will tell us a lot about whether or not Hosley can be a long-term contributor.
That's the end of the brief third-round history lesson. Will Moore end up like Tuck, or like many of the non-descript third-round choices the Giants have made? Only time will tell.