The New York Giants had some very weak drafts during former general manager Jerry Reese’s tenure, including his final draft in 2017 when he bypassed some top talent to make some questionable picks.
The New York Giants are currently going through a metamorphosis under general manager Dave Gettleman, turning over their roster over the last 18 months to the degree where there are only 14 players remaining from the Reese era.
Reese’s last draft as GM was in 2017 and, like the previous drafts before, it was not a deep one and has yet to reap any real results. We’ve decided to take a revisionist’s look at that draft and provide who the Giants should have taken.
Round 1, Pick 23 – Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
Engram has been a bit of an enigma and a little disappointing thus far. He’s very talented, but as a rookie had difficulty hanging onto the football and then last season went through some injury woes that kept him from reaching the next step. The problem with Engram is that is he not a traditional in-line tight end and is better suited as a slot receiver and could be used on the wing this year.
Who we would have taken: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin (Saints) or T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin (Mets). The Giants did not need a “tweener” tight end that they still haven’t found a position for. Instead, they could have had one of these two UW players who have hit the ground running and produced in the NFL from Day One.
Round 2, Pick 55 – Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
You can’t really go wrong with an Alabama interior lineman, and the Giants really haven’t fone wrong with Tomlinson. He’s one of the top young defensive linemen in the NFL. The issue with him now is that the Giants are playing in a 3-4 alignment and he’s more comfortable in a 4-3. No big deal, he’ll adjust and already has to a degree.
Who we would have taken: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee or Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, UCLA. Kamara for sure but Smith-Schuster maybe not because the Giants had OBJ and Sterling Shepard. Kamara turned out to be a monster pick for the Saints and Smith-Schuster is so good, it made it much easier for the Steelers to let Antonio Brown go. Another pick here could have been Ohio State center Pat Elflein (Vikings) or WR Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington (Rams).
Round 3, Pick 87 – Davis Webb, QB, California
The Giants had been looking for the right player to succeed Eli Manning and Webb appeared to be the right pick for about five minutes. Then we saw him in game action. Needless to say, once Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur arrived, Webb’s ticket was pretty much punched. A swing and a miss here by Reese, but give him credit for trying.
Who we would have taken: Anyone else. Webb, who was the MVP of the Senior Bowl, was clearly fool’s gold. He would have been taken somewhere in this draft, but probably not until the later rounds. Possibilities here could have been: S Eddie Jackson Alabama; RB James Conner, Pitt; DB Shaquill Griffin, UCF (Seahawks); S John Johnson, Boston College (Rams) and WR Kenny Gollliday, Northern Illinois (Lions).
Round 4, Pick 140 – Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
The Giants were originally scheduled to pick No. 129 but thanks to Ben McAdoo’s illegal us e of a walkie-talkie the year before, the league penalized the Giants 12 slots in the fourth round. Gallman is a solid football player and the club has had no complaints with his ability or work ethic. He might have the easiest job on the team right now backing up Saquon Barkley, who leaves very little on the table for the other running backs.
Who we would have taken: George Kittle, TE, Iowa or Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida. You all know who Kittle is by now. He’s the guy who burned the Giants on MNF last year (specifically Landon Collins) and is now one of the league’s elite TEs. Mack would have been a close call over Gallman. Either way, he’d be sitting, too, if her were here.
Round 5, Pick 167 – Avery Moss, DE, Youngstown State
Moss is still with the Giants. No, really. He dressed for 11 games as a rookie, starting two, but then disappeared and has been on the periphery and spent 2018 on the practice squad. The Giants are giving him another look this summer at outside linebacker.
Who we would have taken: This wasn’t a very deep draft, so the pickins were kind of slim, but the Packers did find UTEP RB Aaron Jones after the Giants took Moss.
Round 6, Pick 200 – Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh
The Giants traded up to take Bisnowaty, a rough and tumble tackle who then failed to make the roster in camp and signed back to the practice squad. He ended up playing just one game for the Giants in 2017 and was waived by Shurmur last May. Since then, Bisnowaty has been signed – and waived – by the Lions, Panthers, Vikings and Redskins.
Round 6, Pick 207 and Round 7, Pick 241 – Traded to Tennessee in exchange for Pick 200.
Like we said, the wasn’t a deep one, so the trade up for Bisnowaty wasn’t a bad move as there really weren’t any notable names taken after the Giants took him at 200.
Notable UDFAs: Chad Wheeler, OT, USC; Calvin Munson, LB, San Diego State; Travis Rudolph, WR, Florida State. Wheeler was the Giants’ right tackle last season and is still very much part of their offensive line going into camp. Munson made the Giants as a rookie but failed to do so last year. He is currently on the Patriots’ practice squad. Rudolph played for the Giants as a rookie coming off the practice squad. He is now with the Miami Dolphins.