All seven of the players the New York Giants chose in the 2014 NFL Draft had been captains of their college teams, an obvious sign that the Giants were valuing leadership and character in their selections. With Odell Beckham Jr. leading the way, that draft class shows the potential to become the best of the Jerry Reese era as general manager.
Expect the Giants to once again place a high value on leadership and character when they make their selections in the 2015 NFL Draft.
"I think that approach is going to continue. I think they were very happy with their draft class this year, they like the results they got from taking that approach and I absolutely expect that to continue," said Scott Wright of Draft Countdown. "They're gonna be looking for high-character guys. They're gonna be looking for a team captain, somebody who is gonna do the right thing both on and off the field, who's gonna be a good guy in the locker room."
Before last year's draft Giants' co-owner John Mara admitted that the Giants' drafts had not been up to par, and that they had taken some gambles that did not pan out. Wright specifically pointed to the 2011 second-round selection of defensive tackle Marvin Austin and the 2012 third-round selection of cornerback Jayron Hosley as character-concern risks that backfired.
"I think we saw last year a change in approach. I think it was pretty clear that they made a concerted effort to go for those high-character team captains. Because they were so happy with the results I think they're going to stay along those same lines," Wright said.
"It's a fine line. In the NFL you can't have a team full of choir boys ... the trick is finding that right balance. You can have a couple in the locker room like that, you can't have a team full of them. The Giants probably felt they teetered a little more toward the edge than they would have liked and now they're trying to correct that. They certainly got off to a really good start with last year's draft."
Wright says hat doesn't mean the Giants will be completely to taking a player with character concerns, but that "if it's close they're going to lean toward the guy that has what they're looking for off the field and in the locker room."