An opinion a little late and thus probably stale, but nonetheless here’s the kid to bring you his draft recap and analysis. Giants draft day brings out the hopeful optimism in all Giants fans, and like most fans, it’s a clean slate for our team. Literally completely clean, because none of our draft picks from like two classes are on the team anymore. So while teams are adding quality depth behind class of 2011 starters like Von Miller, Justin Houston and Muhammad Wilkerson, we’re trying to find players to replace Jasper Brinkley and Uani Unga as our primary linebackers.
I’m not into “draft grades” the day after the damn thing because you will never know how a draft turns out until you actually see the player on the field. Of course you can applaud a team for taking a player late that was supposed to be a royal blue chipper, or deride a team for taking a position that they really don’t need. It’s not unlikely that I rate this draft and turn out to be horribly wrong; I actually hated the Odell Beckham pick and by the time he had missed his fourth game of 2014, I started referring to him as “Should Have Been Zack Martin.”
Round 1: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Laremy Tunsil gassing himself affected more than just his own draft stock. Teams immediately changed their big board to reflect his dual affinity for smoking and not carefully monitoring who has access to his social media, and the result’s proved less than ideal for the Giants. Players like Jack Conklin and Ronnie Stanley who may have fallen into the Giants lap were soon snatched up, and the willingness of teams like the Titans and Bears to move up to acquire Big Blue’s target players sucked too. Those critical of Jerry Reese’s idleness during this time need to remember the value of draft picks, and how he isn’t in a position to trade multiple picks to move up literally one spot. The Giants simply stuck to their draft board and took the next best player available, someone who happens to fulfill an area of need.
“BUT THEY JUST SIGNED JANORIS JENKINS FOR $60M”
Although that is true, the Giants lack depth at cornerback beyond DRC and Jenkins. Beyond those two, the Giants have Trevin Wade and Tramain Jacobs as their other two cornerbacks. Those players being holdovers from last year’s defense doesn’t sit well with me, and it apparently didn’t sit well with the front office either. Additionally, Jenkins versatility as a slot corner makes Eli Apple a guy who could see a lot of action as an outside cornerback. Although he may be rough around the edges, his physical tools alone make him a guy who could contribute against three-receiver sets.
So given all that transpired before the Giants made the pick and what was available to them, I applaud the move. Go Jerry!
Round 2: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
In my own humble opinion, this was the best pick of the Giants entire draft. It felt like a spot to target a receiver to help compliment Odell Beckham (and hopefully not replace Victor Cruz). I wasn’t too high on any of the available receivers at pick #10, and so taking a polished route-runner who can occupy the slot was a great pick in round two.
Ben McAdoo was once apart of a staff who selected a receiver in the second round and groomed him to becoming a top pass catcher in the NFL. From the slot. Given how productive Randall Cobb was and continues to be in the west coast system, I’m anxious to see how Shepard develops in McAdoo’s offense. It may not be early on in the 2016 campaign, but I think Sheppard has a chance to be a special player.
Round 3: Darian Thompson, FS, Boise State
Another spot on the roster that was in the dire straits last season now has some much needed depth. Giants brass praised Thompson’s knack for being around the ball, and that already makes him overqualified to be a Giants safety. Lacking a capable centerfielder killed the Giants last season, and didn’t do much to help bring along Landon Collins as a box safety since he had to consistently drop into coverage last season.
Thompson is going to compete with Nat Berhe, Bennet Jackson and Myykle Thompson for playing time along side of Landon Collins. None of these guys are even remotely proven, and the highest compliment I can even give Landon Collins is starting every game. This group needs a little competition to allow the cream to rise. The last thing the Giants defense needs is another off-the-street free agent to start at safety for them.
Round 4: B.J Goodson, LB, Clemson
Goodson represents the second of three straight rounds where the Giants added a player to one of their “motley crew” positional groups. Linebacker has been a flat out disaster for the Giants for years now. Check out their run defense and lines posted by opposing tight ends if you don’t believe me. Again, just like at the safety position, the Giants are hopeful the cream rises through competition amongst the linebackers. Thus far, the word is Goodson has a chance to start. Realistically, I would not rule out myself as a potential starter when my competition includes Mark Herzlich and Uani Unga.
Round 5: Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
The muddling of the backfield continues. The Giants drafted in three consecutive rounds three positions who lack of production drives Giants fans insane. Competition only really pushed Rashad Jennings to the front of the Giants running corps late in the season, and my sense is this pick will be to further the competition. It is frustrating that this pick gives the Giants six running backs on their current roster, but we need to remember that you bring 91 guys to training camp. The Giants backfield being a pillar of confusion and inconsistency will likely continue into 2016, but if this guy manages to get Andre Williams off my football team, than it’s a solid pick.
Round 6: Jerrell Adams, TE, South Carolina
Todd McShay complimented the Giants for this selection, saying it was one of the better late round picks. The Giants are in need of a blocking tight end, and couple Adams’ in-line blocking with his fast 40-yard time, and the Giants may have found a TE who can contribute in both the run and pass game. This is another position that has been a revolving door for the Giants in recent years (with a team so bad though, what hasn’t been a revolving door outside of quarterback) and I expect Adams to be carried on the roster, possibly ahead of Larry Donnell.
An interesting bit of info: the Giants did not draft a lineman for the first time in like 80 years. An interesting time for the Giants to make draft history considering Marshall Newhouse is still their right tackle. They obviously know something that we do not, so I’m fine with not freaking out just yet. Carrying eight linemen like they did last year is not ideal, especially given the inexperience/ineptitude along the right side. No doubt the Giants will add more pieces to that area before we kick-off against the Cowboys
All in all, I’m satisfied with the draft as we stand. At the very least, I hope these guys remain on the roster for several years unlike some of their draft predecessors. By my count, the Giants still need another player to play along the right side of the line, as well as an additional receiver. We’ll see what the rest of the summer has in store for us.