During a press conference a few days back, Reese says he grades players 15 – 32 about equally. Now he may be blowing smoke, but I’ve never seen Reese as that sort of guy. So let’s take him at this word. He sees the bottom half of the first round as a kind of plateau.
This tells me Reese probably won’t be moving up to land any particular player. According to his draft grades, he would have to get into the top 15 to see any increase in value. The cost, of course, would be prohibitive. Moving down is always possible for the right offer, but let’s assume the Giants sit tight at #32.
The Giants are seen as a team which drafts the “best available athlete.” Reese very clearly said he’ll draft the best athlete without regard to position. I’m not sure I completely believe this is the Giants draft strategy. I would guess a more accurate explanation is this…the Giants will try to match the best athlete to position needs. When they conflict, best athlete wins.
That being said, the 2011 draft was definitely an example of “best athlete” over “position needs.” Following the draft, some reports said the Giants had their eye on a few offensive linemen in the first round. CB Prince Amukamara was ranked as a top 15 prospect, but dropped to the Giants at #19. The value was too much to overlook even though they seemed pretty solid at cornerback at the time. The health of CB Terrell Thomas in 2012 is questionable. Reese was right.
Looking at the Giants current OL roster, they say they like OT Jim Brewer who was a 4th round pick from 2011. Many project him as the one likely replacement for Kareem McKenzie at RT. Unfortunately, the lockout last year robbed rookies of invaluable preparation. We may see some carry over to this year, but I hope Brewer is up to the task.
Regardless, I think the Giants may look to draft another OL early in this year’s draft. Along the offensive line, the Giants seem most stable at OG. Following Reese’s history, he’ll draft a guard number one overall. We’ll all scream, “What is he thinking about?!” Despite the historical evidence, Giants fan will wonder if Reese has finally gone over the edge.
Perhaps he’ll do something even more crazy. What if he takes Boise State RB Doug Martin in the first round? The value of stud RBs in the NFL has dropped in recent years. It might be just like Reese to grab one early. He’s also just as likely to find another starting RB in the 7th round. We may already have one on the roster.
One thing is clear. I will do my very best to not second guess Reese two seconds after the Giants select their newest player. I vow to allow some time to pass before declaring a draft pick a bust. Reese has shown over and over, he is generally right. And I have shown over and over, I am generally wrong.
As the draft goes along, I will remind myself to trust in Reese. He’s earned it.
One more thought…..I have to admit to a bit of a man-crush on Utah State RB Robert Turbin in the 3rd round. A few others out there also like Turbin for the Giants, but he will become a Giant only when Reese says the value is right.