Unfortunately for former New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese, we live in a “what have you done for me lately” sports culture, especially in New York.
Due to this, many New York Giants fans unfairly forget about the sustained success Reese had during his ten-year, two championship run as the man-in-charge. Most of this success was achieved through the draft, especially early on in his general manager tenure.
It’s fair to argue that no personnel executive has ever had as profound of an immediate impact as Reese did during his first draft, with the eventual Super Bowl XLII champion New York Giants. Reese was able to select multiple rookies, who would end up contributing to his championship squad immediately.
However, the young and experienced, personnel man would later fall victim to not evolving with the ever-changing NFL, and his way of thinking was left in the dust. He continually failed to change his approach, namely in investing in the offensive line and the linebacking corps.
Any reasonable person could stack up his eleven first-round selections and measure up their successes against just about any other GM during his era. By a fair count, he hit on 8 of 11 first round picks (as solid contributors), with Eli Apple being traded by his replacement.
Unfortunately, Ernie Accorsi’s hand-picked successor had one major problem throughout his tenure, which was fortifying the team through the middle rounds of the draft.
While the names on this list will likely only resonate with hard core, long time New York Giants fans, they were instrumental in the eventual downfall of Reese and Big Blue, that led to his firing.
The first really destitute draft we saw out of him was in 2009, but the 2011, 2012 and 2015 drafts were undoubtedly the ones that would up doing the most damage to the current depleted Giants roster.
Reese’s tale should serve as a cautionary tale to all young GM’s across the league. Learn how to evolve, or get left in the past; regardless of how much success you were able to attain.
Teams put such a premium on mid round draft selections for a reason, as they tend to be the affordable glue guys that lead to a winning franchise.
Alas for the 23-year member of the Giants front office, Reese’s penchant for going with upside over stable production cost him his job. If he was just able to find a few more productive starters during his final few years, it’s likely Reese would still be calling the shots today.
While the term “draft bust” is highly conjectural, for the purposes of this list we are mainly taking into account each players overall success with the New York Giants specifically. While the reasons vary on why they each failed to work out, the end result with the team was the main criteria.
Also taken into account were any extra expectations a player came with due to either dire positional need, physical prowess or college notoriety. Without any further ado, here are our top 10 draft busts under the Jerry Reese era.