I was asked a question recently about what would constitute a successful draft for the New York Giants this year, so I started to think about past drafts and what made them successful or not. Here the Best and Worst from my list….as it applies to entire draft classes for a team. There are certainly individual picks that boggle the mind further, but those are for another day.
The Worst: Too easy here, The New Orleans Saints in 1999 traded away every pick they had in this draft and a 1st and 3rd rounder the following year to acquire Ricky Williams at #5 overall. This is not an indictment of Williams, but to trade away that amount of picks for one player that never won you a championship must be considered a bust. Maybe the only saving grace for the Saints was that Washington, although getting such players as Champ Bailey, Jon Jansen, and LaVar Arrington, and winning the division title in 1999, didn’t return to the playoffs until 2005. This is quite clearly the worst overall draft in history.
The Best: 2007 New York Giants. Jerry Reese in his first draft as a G.M. had 8 picks in 2007, and here are the names: Aaron Ross. Steve Smith, Jay Alford, Zac DeOssie, Kevin Boss, Adam Koets, Michael Johnson, and Ahmad Bradhsaw.
I know I will here about the fact that only two of these players are still on the team 5 years later, but the contributions of all these men were instrumental in a very improbable Super Bowl Championship. In the age of hold-outs, and free agency just getting everyone signed and on the roster is an accomplishment. All 8 players played for the Giants that season and I’m sure we can all recite the impact they had on the magical 2007 season. Kevin Boss stepping in for the injured Jeremy Shockey and making big catches against Dallas and New England, Steve Smith making third down catches and being left alone by the Patriot secondary on the final drive of the Super Bowl, Aaron Ross playing in the Dallas game with an injured shoulder, but still making big tackles to finish the game, and of course the sack by Jay Alford of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Ahmad Bradshaw almost single handedly got the Giants into the playoffs with his performance in Buffalo the final week of the season, and of course Zac and Michael Johnson contributed greatly and are still with the team.
Those are my picks…What do you have as the best and worst full drafts?