The Pro Football Writers of America released its selections for their 2015 All-Rookie team and it appears the organizations' members thought quite highly of the New York Giants, naming two of their first-year players to the prestigious squad. Second-round pick Landon Collins and undrafted free-agent Will Tye were both selected by PFWA as top guys at their positions.
For Collins, this comes on the back of an up-and-down year where rookie errors combined with flashes of brilliance. The Giants traded up for him at the beginning of the second round of last year's draft in the hope of filling the huge void at the safety position, and to some degree, Collins fulfilled that task. However, this is just one man. The other safety spot remained in flux for the entirety of the season, leaving uncertainty and imbalance at an area so critical to effective pass defense.
On the flip side of the ball is Tye, who came into this league out of Stony Brook as a guy just hoping to make the team. By mid-season, he was the starter. His 42 catches for 464 yards and three touchdowns were all rookie-bests among tight ends and he established as the clear-cut leader for to retain his starting role regardless of who he goes up against in training camp next summer. There are areas he will need to work on -- blocking and drops were an issue -- but his 2015 campaign is a perfect building block for the young player going forward.
Elsewhere on the list, we see some "What if..." scenarios emerge. Chicago Bears' safety Adrian Amos also made the list, and the Bears didn't nab him until the fifth round. Amos was an excellent coverage player at Penn State and would have been an ideal complement to Collins' strong safety role.
There's also the case of Donovan Smith, another Penn State player, a left tackle selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the pick originally owned by the Giants prior to the Collins trade. Given the late-season struggles of an injured Ereck Flowers and the general problematic performances from Marshall Newhouse, there is a reasonable argument to be made that the Giants should have held true on their intended draft slot and selected back-to-back linemen.
This is all hindsight of course, but it goes to show that for every player you select in the draft, you pay an opportunity cost of every player selected after him. Make a wrong pick, and these problems snowball. This is how position holes develop. This is how people lose jobs. With a new coach in Ben McAdoo, it'll be an important year for this team as they churn the bottom of the roster towards McAdoo's ideal vision.
You can find a full list of the PFWA Rookie awards below:
2015 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RB - Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams; Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks
WR - Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders; Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
TE - Will Tye, New York Giants
C - Mitch Morse, Kansas City Chiefs
G - Ali Marpet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Brandon Scherff, Washington Redskins
T - Rob Havenstein, St. Louis Rams; Donovan Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DL - Malcom Brown, New England Patriots; Eddie Goldman, Chicago Bears; Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings; Leonard Williams, New York Jets
LB - Kwon Alexander, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Stephone Anthony, New Orleans Saints; Eric Kendricks, Minnesota Vikings
CB - Ronald Darby, Buffalo Bills; Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs
S - Adrian Amos, Chicago Bears; Landon Collins, New York Giants
2015 PFWA OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
RB Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams
2015 PFWA DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
CB Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs