So, what have we learned from our journey through the last few Giants' drafts?
First and foremost when you look at those drafts I think you get a pretty good idea why the Giants have been, largely, a middle of the pack team the past few seasons.
The drafts have been mediocre, at best. New York is still paying for wasted first-round picks like Ron Dayne (2000) and William Joseph (2003).
When you miss in the first round it hurts you for a long time. Look at Dayne. Seven years later the Giants are still trying to find a quality running back not named Tiki Barber (though Brandon Jacobs just might fill the bill).
The other thing is, when is the last time the Giants really hit on a pick in the back end of the draft?
I know that you have to get lucky to get a real star out of rounds 5 thru 7. You aren't always going to uncover a Tom Brady in the sixth round or a star wideout like Marquis Colston of New Orleans in the seventh, but you have to get useful players.
The Giants got David Diehl and Gibril Wilson out of the fifth rounds in 2003 and 2004, respectively, but that is about it.
Too many of their late-round picks, and even some first-day picks, were wasted on players who never played a down. What you wind up with when that happens is a roster without depth, which has been a problem for the Giants for several seasons now as they have been unable to replace injured players with adequate fill-ins.
Whether or not the Giants are able to become a true upper-echelon team during the next couple of seasons hinges largely on the development of Eli Manning.
It also hinges, however, on Jerry Reeses's ability to stop wasting so many draft picks and bring in more players the Giants can depend on.