Saturday, April 17, 2010

Giants: draft thoughts

I keep hearing that the Giants are very interested in C.J. Spiller, the outstanding RB from Clemson. He has great speed and is supposed to be a real game changer. The Giants RBs certainly had a bad year last year, both in production and in health. Jacobs had a season long knee injury and Bradshaw had two bad ankles and bad feet. They both had surgery to repair these injuries. If you were running the Giants, you could certainly be concerned about the long term health and productivity of both RBs. Furthermore, since Tiki Barber left the Giants in 2006, the Giants have not had a great passing threat out of the backfield. Derrick Ward was pretty good as a pass catcher, though he was not a real game breaking threat, and he is of course gone now. The Giants have weapons at WR and TE. In the running game, the RBs are good if they are healthy, but they are not real burners and they are not good in the passing game. A runner like Spiller would be attractive. The problem is - taking him at slot 15 goes against one of my draft philosophies: Never take a RB in the first round. There is way too much talent at RB that can be gotten in later rounds and there are way too many 1st round stud-can't-miss RBs that turned out to be disappointments or outright busts. Jacobs and Bradshaw were 4th and 7th round picks and were good enough to carry the Giants to a Superbowl. Derrick Ward, who disappeared last year in Tampa behind a poor OL was good enough to gain over 1,000 yards for the Giants in 2008, which proves another aspect of the RB-drafting philosophy. Giants picked Derrick Ward off the scrap heap and signed him off the Jets practice squad. Not only can you get top RBs in later rounds, but behind a good OL, even a slightly above average RB can be very productive. Just off the top of my head - Terrell Davis of the Broncos was a 6th round pick. While there certainly were some very good 1st round RBs, it is not necessary to find the great RBs in the first round. If that's the case, and if you believe in inflating the draft value of players based on the importance of the position they play, drafting RB in round 1 is usually a waste.

A few years ago, Texans were thinking about drafting Reggie Bush but ended up with Mario Williams. They were roundly criticized for the move, but even though Reggie won the Superbowl this year with the Saints, he has been far from a dominant player at his position. He is certainly an important player, but Williams is a star DE and is more valuable to the Texans than Bush is to the Saints.

The fact that the Giants are publicly dropping leaks in the press that they are interested in Spiller but are concerned he may not be there at slot 15 probably means they are not going to take him. Reese is very cloak-and-dagger-ish when it comes to the draft, always concealing and providing disinformation about whom they will draft. One thing that seems interesting - Reese has said again that the Giants may not draft a MLB because he thinks the answer to that position may be on the team right now. He was referring to young players on the team that have not played much - Gerris Wilkinson, Bryan Kehl and Jonathan Goff. Was this more disinformation or was he really sending a message to the coaches that he wants those guys tested and not sitting on the bench.

My opinion remains the same - the Giants need a stud in the front 7 and it almost doesn't matter what position it is. Giants remain very high on Clint Sintim and he is the type of player that can provide them with great flexibility in configuring the front 7. He is currently slotted as LB, but played DE in college. He can be a pass rusher with his hand on the ground or standing up at LB. If Giants get the chance to get a stud DE, they can trade Osi and fill in some holes at MLB. If instead they draft MLB, Sintim can keep playing LB.


Gablowo said...

Trade Osi?!!! That is WHACK.

wolfman said...

He's been whining about the fact that he was removed from the starting lineup last year.