As we continue our series on Jerry Reese’s draft classes we get to 2008. After an A+ plus grade for 2007 and a Super Bowl Championship this one obviously had lower expectations. We will explore the picks the Giants made, but also some players who might have suited them a bit better. Here goes:
1. Kenny Phillips at #32 was a solid pick. Gibril Wilson had left to free agancy and the Giants wanted a big strong hard hitting safety. they got that in Phillips. We all know now that injuries plagued Kenny throughout his career, but at the time it was a solid pick. Names like Jordy Nelson, Tracy Porter, and most notably DeSean Jackson were still on the board. Also another odd note here is Martellus Bennett was selected at 61.
2. Terrell Thomas was the 63rd pick and still with the team as we all know. Terrell made an immediate impact, but again injuries have limited his potential. Other names here…Jamaal Charles at 73 and Dan Connor at 74.
3. Mario Mannngham at #95. Another injury prone player that never quite lived up to the hype. He made some big catches, one in particular, but again never blossomed into the star he could have been.
4. Bryan Kehl at #123 LB from BYU. Here is how Bryan’s career progressed courtesy of Wikipedia. This is the first linebacker miss of Jerry Reese’s career.
New York Giants
Kehl was selected in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. The Giants traded up (from 130 to 123 overall) by swapping picks with the Pittsburgh Steelers and giving up one of their sixth round picks (194 overall). He was placed second on the depth chart as weak side linebacker behind Gerris Wilkinson. Kehl made his first NFL start on October 26 for the injured Gerris Wilkinson when the Giants beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Bryan got his first interception of his NFL career in this game. He picked off Steeler’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and ran it back for 17 yards.
Kehl was waived by the Giants on September 14, 2010.
St. Louis Rams
Kehl was claimed off waivers by the St. Louis Rams on September 15, 2010.
On April 23, 2012, Kehl signed with the Washington Redskins. For the team’s 3-4 defensive scheme, he switched from an outside linebacker to an inside linebacker to play a backup role to London Fletcher and Perry Riley. Kehl was cut on August 31, 2012 for final cuts before the start of the 2012 season.
Kansas City Chiefs
On October 2, 2012 Kehl was signed by the Chiefs. On November 27, 2012 Kehl was waived by the Chiefs after playing only 3 games for the team.
Second Stint with Redskins
On November 28, 2012, Kehl was claimed off waivers by the Redskins. Set to be a free agent again for the 2013 season, the Redskins re-signed him to another one-year contract on March 14, 2013. In the Week 6 game against the Dallas Cowboys, he tore the ACL in his left knee and was placed on injured reserve the next day.
Other name in this spot oddly enough is Justin Tryon and Ryan Torain.
5. Jonathan Goff at #166 was the second LB miss of Reese’s tenure. Although Goff had attained the starting Middle Linbacker position coming out of camp a few years later…he tore his ACL the week before the opener and never recovered.
6. Andre Woodson QB at #198 was drafted out of Kentucky and spent multiple years on the practice squad. He was invaluable in simulating the running QB’s of the day for the defense.
7. Robert Henderson at #199 was injured in the first pre-season game and never played for the Giants.
This draft started well with Phillips and Thomas, but as you can see the lower rounds are a disappointment, but you can’t get lucky every year. while 2007 was an A+ draft, this one would have to be graded B- or so since picks 4-7 never had any significant impact on the team.