Everyone has an opinion about the New York Giants' 2016 NFL Draft class. Mine was expressed pick-by-pick in a "Kudos & Wet Willies" review. Invictus drowned himself in a sea of blue Kool-Aid giving you his thoughts.
I asked our Big Blue View staff writers to list which pick they like the most from this Giants draft, and which pick they disliked. Interestingly, finding a pick that was truly disliked proved difficult, as you will see below
I may be in the minority on this one, but I liked the Eli Apple pick the most. The Giants have given a lot of money to Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as marquee free agents, and that's an inefficient way to build teams. You need to grow your own players, and Apple is that kind of pick. I think he plays outside, but remains as the team's third cornerback for this year at least. Jenkins can still earn those big bucks as a starter, but should probably move inside to cover the slot when Apple tags in. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. It develops Apple at his natural position while keeping all the talent on the field.
I don't actually dislike any pick in this draft. I think it addressed a number of major needs and made the most of the available assets to make that happen. From a positional point of view, I would value the offensive line more than linebackers, so I probably would have liked one of the top remaining guards in the fourth round, but B.J. Goodson is a good player. I can't complain.
I love the Giants' selection of Sterling Shepard in the second round. I know the Victor Cruz comparison has been thrown around, but Shepard also reminds me of Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb. Shepard has incredible leaping skills, a wide catch radius and overall, all the tools to succeed. I think he'll be a great compliment to Odell Beckham Jr.
I don't "dislike" any pick that the Giants made in this draft. I would have liked to see the Giants select an offensive lineman, but there was no pick that the team made that I thought was a bad one. New York has struggled making good picks in the middle to late rounds, but I thought the team found players who filled needs and will bring a lot of value to the team. I expect every player the Giants selected in this year's draft to compete for a starting spot in the next two years, and I don't think you can ask much more than that. This draft has the potential to be Jerry Reese's best one during his tenure as general manager, and it couldn't come at a better time.
Favorite: Sterling Shepard
While the draft is all about finding building blocks, the Giants are also very desperately in a win now mode. They catered to both tasks with Sterling Shepard. Which are the type of rookie receivers that contribute right away? The polished route runners in the mold of Amari Cooper or Odell Beckham Jr. Shepard has drawn accolades from scouts and coaches for his route running ability. I wanted size at the wide receiver position too, but Shepard can make an impact right away. We need someone to take pressure off of Odell Beckham and Shepard will excel in this role.
Least favorite: Darian Thompson
I thoroughly enjoyed this draft so even though I have to choose a least favorite, that doesn't mean the pick is awful. Thompson's football skills as a safety are not contested. He has the instincts to excel in his coverage duties, which is a facet of the game the Giants need badly. I get the pick, especially considering the Giants have a massive hole at the free safety spot. However, Thompson's athleticism is fairly limited for such a high pick. When using the SPARQ formula, which uses combine numbers to measure overall athleticism, Thompson grades out as the 75th ranked safety out of 119 draft eligible prospects. I'm sure many will appreciate that Jerry Reese chose a "football player" over an athlete, but having the adequate athleticism is also a requirement. Don't get me wrong, I like Thompson but if I had to choose a least favorite pick it would begrudgingly go to him.
My favorite pick: Jerell Adams
I am sorely tempted to put Sterling Shepard here, I love the pick and I think he is going to be a star in this offense. He might not be the instant phenom that Odell Beckham was, but a receiver that wins out of his breaks and takes pride in his work ethic is going to have success in Ben McAdoo's offense. I'll say it: I don't think Offensive Rookie Of The Year is out of the question -- it might come down to Shepard and Elliott.
But I'm going with Jerell Adams because I have to take value into account as well. Adams was my second rated TE/H-Back behind Hunter Henry, and had a Day 2 grade, so to get him in the sixth round is an impressive value. He was under-used in South Carolina's offense and victimized by their spotty quarterback play, so his talent wasn't on full display. McAdoo has a background as a tight ends coach, and Kevin Gilbride Jr. has done a good job of coaching up productive tight ends. I'm excited to see what Adams can develop into.
Least favorite pick: Darian Thompson
If I'm being honest, the answer is "None". I think they will all at least be solid contributors and the Giants could get 3-5 starters out of this draft.
But if I have to pick a least favorite, it would be Thompson. He's smart and aggressive, which I love in a safety, but he also has a tendency to gamble isn't a great tackler, and doesn't quite have the wheels to recover if he guesses wrong. With a corner like Janoris Jenkins who is a play-maker but a gambler himself, I would prefer a disciplined free safety. The Giants' defense did generate turnovers in 2015 however, so adding a pair of ball-hawks like Jenkins and Thompson -- in place of Prince Amukamara or Trevin Wade and Craig Dahl or Brandon Meriweather -- will certainly make testing the secondary a chancy proposition in 2016.