The New York Giants won a football game on Sunday. In the process, the Giants remained No. 3 overall in the projected 2018 NFL Draft order. The 0-10 Cleveland Browns are No. 1, and the 1-9 San Francisco 49ers are No. 2.
Winning by losing?
I know there are Giants fans who have tossed in the towel on the season and who would rather see the Giants lose games to get a higher spot in the 2018 draft. The key to drafting well, though, is how well you scout and select in the draft. Not where you select in the draft.
Odell Beckham Jr. was selected 13th in 2014, the third wide receiver taken. Shoot, all-world defensive tackle Aaron Donald went one pick after Beckham. Among the players who went ahead of them? Greg Robinson (No. 2), Blake Bortles (No. 3) and Justin Gilbert (No. 8).
In 2015, the Giants got Landon Collins with the first pick of Round 2. When he plays like he did Sunday, he is arguably the best safety in the NFL.
In the the 2017 draft, the Giants got Evan Engram with the 23rd pick. O.J. Howard, who went 19th to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has 17 catches to Engram’s 41.
History is full of examples of high picks failing and guys taken below them succeeding. Jamarcus Russell was a No. 1 overall pick. Tom Brady was a sixth-rounder, and Russell Wilson a third-rounder. Scan through draft history and over and over you see the best player at a given position is not always the first player taken. Or second. Or third.
It is easy to get hung up on the idea that a team MUST get a certain player, like running back Saquon Barkley or quarterbacks Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen. That, though, isn’t true.
There are a lot of good players available in every draft. What teams must do is take advantage of the picks they do have — correctly identify the best players and make good choices whenever they are selecting.