We've already been doing this for some time now, but it's always fun to look back at what you predicted when it comes time where results start coming in. So let's take a look at the New York Giants 2014 rookie draft class.
You might be asking, hey BBI, why are we looking over this stuff now and not waiting for the end of the season? Good question. I just figured that 14 games into a season, we've got a pretty decent enough idea of what these rookies might do, and it'd be fun to look at what they might need to do in the last two games to meet expectations.
The post I'm going to use is one I wrote all the way back in May. May! This was before even training camp and before we all promised to sacrifice our own hamstrings for the sake of getting our superstar wide receiver on the field! Here's the post for reference: Pre-Season Predictions
Player: Odell Beckham Jr. (Round 1)
What We Said:
Enter the first-rounder. His route running and separation skills are so advanced at this stage that I don't foresee much competition for that outside spot. I believe the Giants' base offensive formation will be three wide receivers, so I see him taking the vast majority of the snaps this year. So how will he do? I don't think he's going to be offensive rookie of the year good, but he'll get his targets. More than the tangible numbers he'll put up, his real effect will be on the other receivers, opening things up and clearing the field.
I also think he won't be on special teams. I do think the Giants keep Trindon Hollidayand Quintin Demps, both of whom were top 10 returners last year.
Prediction: 50 receptions, 766 yards, 15.27 YPC, 6 TDs. 0 Kickoffs/Punt returns
Actual Results: 71 receptions, 971 yards, 13.7 YPC, 9 TDs and counting. 20 punt returns, 8.6 YPR
Verdict: I suck. Y'all see what I bolded in my early predictions. Boy, was I wrong. Beckham has a +15.5 grade from Pro Football Focus thus far this year, almost double the next best wide receiver (Mike Evans) and tied third in the league with Dez Bryant and behind only stars Antonio Brown and Demaryious Thomas. To say he's exceeded my predictions would be about as big an understatement you could have.
Also, now I have to insert probably my favorite GIF of the year (thanks r/nygiants reddit!)
Player: Weston Richburg (Round 2)
What We Said:
I don't see Richburg as a starter right at the start, however, I definitely see him getting a starting gig by Week 4. He either wins the center job outright, or someone will inevitably get injured (perhaps Snee or Walton, both of which are medical question marks), allowing Richburg to slide in to center or right guard.
I definitely think that he will have a positive impact. Most centers don't give up big sack amounts, but I do see him struggling early on, allowing a couple sacks, but I can see a rapid improvement due to his intelligence and movement ability. I think the center of the future is here to stay and he's going to be a good one.
Prediction: 12 starts, two sacks allowed
Actual Results: 13 starts (will likely be 15 on the season), two sacks allowed
Verdict: Nailed it! Kind of. I correctly guessed that somebody was inevitably going to get injured. Well, Chris Snee retired and Geoff Schwartz got injured, so here's Richburg at guard. He also gave up both of his sacks relatively early. One against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 and one against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9. He has a PFF grade of -12.5 to date, but it should be stated that he's now had two positively graded games in a row and he has been playing out of his natural position.
He's certainly going to be a factor into the future, and while we all had hoped he'd exceed expectations, he hasn't thus far, but two more positively graded games to give him four to close out the season (and 5 out of 6) would go a long way to providing even more confidence for him next year.
Player: Jay Bromley (3rd Round)
What We Said:
A slow start for the 3 technique from Syracuse. Like all high defensive tackle draft picks of late from the New York Giants, I see this as more of a redshirt year for Bromley. He likely gets a similar amount of snaps as Johnathan Hankins did last year.
Cullen Jenkins is firmly entrenched as the starter next to Hankins, and I don't envision Bromley beating him out anytime soon. I do see him making an impact in the rotation as the fourth guy behind those two and Mike Patterson. As a pass rusher, I can see him getting a garbage time sack as well as a few tackles for loss. He's definitely a work in progress, so don't expect immediate gratification, but with some technique refinement, we may just have something here.
Prediction: 0 starts, 18 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFL, 1 PD.
Actual Results: 0 starts, 3 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 TFL, 1 QB hurry
Verdict: I had hoped for a bit more. To date, he has 91 snaps and a -1.1 PFF grade. In 16 games last year (in which he didn't start in any), Johnathan Hankins played 195 snaps and accumulated a +5.6 grade. So it's clear that in terms of snaps, Bromley is going to end up somewhere around 120-130 snaps (unless he miraculously gets the start in both games), and he's going to be well behind where Hankins was last year.
That's okay. Hankins looks to be a special player. Bromley might just be one of those guys that needs continuous snaps to get into a rhythm. Whatever the case may be, he's not up to expectations but it isn't a major disappointment at this point. The Giants just don't play first year defensive tackles. It is annoying that Markus Kuhn is ahead of him though.
Player:Andre Williams (4th Round)
What We Said:
Andre Williams will quickly gain favor with head coach Tom Coughlin due to his personality and toughness. I envision him as the short yardage back right away, getting about 5-10 snaps each game. Despite having some goal line carries, I definitely see him with that high of a yards per carry, due to the fact that the running game will be helped by a better offensive line and a scheme that should allow for a more horizontal passing attack that prevents eight men crowding the box.
Prediction: Pain. Also: 84 carries, 388 yards, 4.6 YPC, 5 TDs. 4 rec, 18 yards
Actual Results: 175 carries, 576 yards, 3.2 YPC, 6 TDs. 15 rec, 111 yards
Verdict: Oops. I suppose I misjudged that last part. I didn't come close to his yards per carry, but c'mon. How could I foresee Geoff Schwartz and Justin Pugh going down like that? Also Chris Snee retired at that point as well. I also assumed we'd be running a better version of the west coast offense than we actually did. As far as earning trust with Coughlin, there's no doubt I nailed that one.
A big reason why he's earned that trust? Pass protection. Struggled early in preseason, but he got it right after that. In 57 total pass blocking snaps, he's allowed a grand total of 1 QB hurry. That's fantastic. As far as the prediction of pain goes, well, he's certainly caused some of that to his own fans but he's doled out an equal amount to his opponents.
Player: Nat Berhe (5th Round)
What We Said:
Berhe might be small, but he's a more violent tackler than Calvin Pryor. He launches his entire body with reckless abandon and provides a number of bone-crunching hits.
I think he makes the team but primarily as a special teamer. I think he'll be one of the core guys, though. In coverage at SDSU, he understood angles better than my 8th grade geometry teacher. That'll make him a very good player to have on kickoff and punt cover teams.
Prediction: 16 tackles, three of the "hard knocks" variety.
Actual Results: 13 tackles (nine on special teams, four on defense)
Verdict: I'm pretty much right on with this. I just gave myself a hearty pat on the back. He's had most of his snaps on special teams, where he's had an overall +2.5 grade. He's thus far only had 27 snaps on defense, where he's accumulated a +0.1 grade. With Antrel Rolle as a free agent, it's expected for Berhe's playing time to significantly increase next year.
Player: Devon Kennard (5th Round Compensatory)
What We Said:
I'm a big believer in Devon Kennard. From a "value" perspective, he was probably the biggest "steal" the Giants got in this draft. I know he's been plagued with injuries, so that is something that I feel might hold him back. However, I think if he can go injury free this year he'll be another guy that can contribute from this class.
He's got very good instincts, decent athleticism, and plays with fine technique. Do I think he beats out Mark Herzlich for the middle linebacker backup job? Many would say not a chance, due to him not being a natural fit at MLB and Coughlin's penchant to play veterans, but I think he's got as good a shot as anybody.
The fact that he can play not only middle linebacker and strongside linebacker, but can be a "DPR" (designated pass rusher) as well can only help his chances of sticking on the roster. Would likely be our best blitzing linebacker.
Prediction: 33 tackles, 1 PD
Actual Results: 32 tackles, 5 sacks, 3 hurries, 22 stops, 1 PD
Verdict: Much like with Odell Beckham, I absolutely nailed the description of what Kennard could bring to the table, but I woefully underestimated in my prediction of what he might just do for us. Still, I'm happy with myself.
Was Kennard the steal of the draft for us? Absolutely. In injury something that held him back this season? Absolutely (he had a hammy problem that prevented him from getting on the field earlier). Can he beat out Mark Herzlich for backup MLB? Absolutely. Is he our best blitzing linebacker and do we use him as a DPR? ABSO-FRIGGIN-LUTELY.
If you don't count the 5 sacks, my prediction would've been perfectly on point. So at least I'll always have that.
Player: Bennett Jackson (6th Round)
What We Said:
I don't know that Jackson will make this team. He's got a boatload of physical ability, but he's really just learning the cornerback position. He doesn't have good technique and wasn't highly productive at Notre Dame on defense.
What he can do, however, is play special teams and can be a demon on the squad. However, it seems to me that with so many players that can play on special teams now, as well as how loaded the secondary is, if Jackson does make the team, I wouldn't be surprised if he was left off the active roster. Who knows though, can't ever discount a team captain from making his way.
Prediction: 0 tackles
Actual Results: 0 tackles
Verdict: Nailed it. As predicted, Jackson did not make the team and is currently on injured reserve. I wouldn't be opposed to training him up as a free safety. At this point, he's just an athletic mold of clay with a nose for the ball without really any technique. A long term project for the coaches to work on.
Player: Kelcy Quarles/Xavier Grimble (UDFA)
What We Said:
Both guys make the team.
Prediction: Both guys make the team.
Actual Results: Neither made the team.
Verdict: Yeah, that was a complete dud. However one impressive UDFA that did make the team is Kerry Wynn, who has 104 snaps to his belt thus far, and has impressed. 1 sack, 1 hit, and 2 hurries to go along with 6 stops is nothing to sneeze at.
Now it's your turn. Let's hear from you guys. What was your greatest success and failure in terms of predicting how our draft picks would do? Most on point prediction gets an internet cookie from me!