Archive for May, 2007

The Draft A Week Later

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Jerry Reese had two solid days in his first official draft as the Giants GM. Reese combined a nice blend of value picks (drafting the best available athlete) along with filling need. It’s all speculation at this point, as you really define how good a draft panned out two and three years down the line (maybe that’s why I waited a week to give my analysis). At the very least, you have to see the way these guys perform on the field and in an NFL training camp. But it’s always fun to evaluate, so away we go.
 
First round pick Aaron Ross was rated the third best CB in the draft, and when the Giants selected him at number 20, the other two had already been selected. While corner wasn’t one of my main areas of concern like many people, I liked the pick. Ross makes plays, hits, and for goodness sakes catches the ball!!!!! As a bonus, he is a return man and hopefully it will help solve the Giants woeful return game.
 
Second round pick Steve Smith certainly has the name to be a successful player. This was viewed as a solid pick by everyone. The word I keep hearing is “polished”. He comes from a big time program at USC and is projected as a third down receiver. Smith also gives the Giants insurance if Sinorice Moss doesn’t cut mustard, which while we believe he will, we need to see it on the field. Hopefully, both push each other for playing time and give Eli multiple options in the pass game. And ultimately you’d want one to become Amani Toomer’s successor in a few years.
 
Initially I was disappointed in third round pick Jay Alford. But after learning that Mathias Kiwanuka will move to linebacker full time in 2007 (more on that below), the pick makes much more sense. Alford has a great first step and makes plays behind the line of scrimmage. With Jason Tuck now the primary backup DE, the Giants needed someone who could be flexible enough to flip between end and tackle, and the Giants believe Alford can do that. He’ll need some more bulk but the Giants feel he has the natural moves to be a contributor.
 
Fourth rounder Zac DeOssie will help give depth to the LB’s, as he is able to play inside or out. DeOssie’s value went up at the Combine, and some said he was one of those guys who may impress more in workouts than actual production on the field. Still, he has the bloodline (dad Steve was a Giant), can long snap, and should be a special teams demon with his speed. Solid value pick at number four.

The Giants picked tight end Kevin Boss (Western Oregon) in the fifth. He has great size and terrific hands, but played against sub par competition. Sixth rounder OT Adam Koets (Oregon State) likewise is a project. Two seventh rounder proved interesting. Safety Michael Johnson (Arizona) could have went higher, has potential, and will have a shot at making the team. Ahmad Bradshaw (Marshall) is a third down type back who has some character issues.
 
Because the Giants already had Kiwi moving to LB, that position didn’t become such a primary concern. It’s an interesting move. He’s a number one pick who generally played well for a rookie, and the goal is to get your best players on the field. The Giants feel he is athletic enough to make the transition to a new position and it will certainly be one of the most scrutinized stories come training camp. I do like the move, and I also feel it will give Justin Tuck more of an opportunity to play next season, a fact that should not be overlooked. Again, the Giants want to get as many reps as they can for their better players.
 
So a solid weekend for the G-men. My only disappointment is not getting a better prospect at left tackle and a third down type back in the higher rounds, but you can’t get everything in one draft. I come away from the draft impressed and confident with Jerry Reese in charge of the Giants, just as I have been since he has taken over the post.