Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Draft Review Take 1

The draft of 2016 is history now and the experts, god bless them, have actually come out with their first mock drafts for 2017. That's pretty crazy because, of course, you don't know what order the teams will be drafting and what needs they will have. I am a little ambivalent about the draft results this year - so i  will try to take both the pessimistic and optimistic views and try to be objective about the draft bounty this year. On the surface, this was a very good draft, if we look at the players that were added. Eli Apple looks like he will be a very good CB in this league. He has excellent cover skills, good size and great hips and footwork. In the pass happy NFL, with most teams running out 3 WRs and pass receiving capable TEs, you need 3 good CBs, not 2. So the idea of drafting a CB is fine. The fact that nearly every draft expert had Hargreaves rated ahead of Apple should give us pause, especially with some spotty player evaluations that the personnel evaluators have brought in recent past. But Giants had both CBs available to them and obviously gave Apple higher grades, so i can't beat them up for that. The questionable side of this pick is that there was Myles Jack and Tunsil available for the taking at positions of need, LB and OL. It's clear that after the Damontre Moore and Marvin Austin disasters of last couple of years, Giants were being extra conservative and taking players that were squeaky clean. They also were taking players that performed well on the football field and were not taking players only because of their performance at the combine. The other factor shaping their decision making was the injury bug, so I can understand backing away from Jack. When Reese tells us Apple was the best player on the board ---- well maybe so, but this was clearly a need pick. You just have to hope that they did not reach too far and that Apple will develop into a star CB. You don't pick in the top 10 hoping for the player to just make the team and be a rotation player - you want excellence.

In the second round, Shepard is a terrific pick at WR. He has excellent route running skills, great hands and if he is playing opposite OBJ, enough speed to burn the DBs and make some plays. Everyone says he is a slot type WR and reminds them of the second coming of Victor Cruz. That may be his size and his style, but I think he can be a throwback to Steve Smith, who was an excellent WR for NYG until he suffered bad knee injury. The S in the third round from Boise State, Darian Thompson is someone who will definitely compete for a starting S job. With all the young talented athletes Giants have at that position - we can expect at least one of them to step forward and grow into a solid starting S.

In summary - Giants got good talent in these three picks, but may have overshot and reached for their first round pick Apple. My big worry from these first three picks and from the draft overall is that Giants did not get any help for that right side of the OL. That has to be addressed before the season with some veteran FA.