New York Giants Selection of Jayron Hosley Shows Lack of Faith in Prince Amukamara

By Jeff Shull

With the 94th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, everyone (at least Giants fans) assumed the New York Giants were going to draft Ole Miss offensive tackle Bobby Massie. Massie was rated as high as a late first rounder by some, but has still not been picked despite several offensive tackles going ahead of him. Obviously there is something about his game that teams do not like. It is hard to figure considering he was a dominant run blocker and a three year starter at an SEC school.

No, the Giants instead went with their second Virginia Tech player in three picks with cornerback Jayron Hosley.

The pick is surprising on multiple levels.

For one, the Giants are stacked at the cornerback position. Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas, 2011 first round pick Prince Amukamara, 2012 signee Antwaun Molden, Michael Coe, Justin Tryon and Bruce Johnson are all corners that could contribute next year in some fashion.

Johnson had a terrific rookie year in 2009, but the past two seasons have been cut short by injury. Molden played significantly for the New England Patriots last season and figured to be in the team’s Dime package plans. Amukamara had a terrible 2011 season, but has the talent to improve and be the team’s third corner.

All of that changes with the Hosley selection.

It is also surprising given the offensive line talent the Giants left on the board. Massie and Florida State offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders were second round prospects who fell, but are still available with round four starting today. They also left guards James Brown and Brandon Washington on the board.

This pick, to me, shows a lack of faith in Amukamara’s ability. The team swore by him last year after saying he was a top 15 player on their board. However, he broke his foot in his second day on the field and sat out half the season. The healthy half of his year did not look good, and his playing time significantly decreased as the season wore on.

The Giants have to expect Hosley to compete for playing time, or else they wouldn’t have drafted him.

I like Jerry Reese and I think he’s done an incredible job, but some of his third round picks have been very frustrating to say the least. The Giants have been unfortunate with many of them dealing with injuries, such as Jay Alford and Ramses Barden. Mario Manningham is really the only third round pick that’s had any success with the Giants under Reese.

Jerrel Jernigan was expected to be a return specialist for the Giants last year, but too many dropped punts in the preseason cost him his job. Hosley specialized as a return man at Virginia Tech, so this pick could also be seen as an indictment of Jernigan’s skills.

With many needs to be filled, the Giants could have gone in another direction and still gotten a talented cornerback in the fourth round. This year’s class is loaded with mid round corners that can have an impact. We could be seeing the 2009 draft all over again. The Giants hit on Hakeem Nicks in the first round that year, but knowing what we know now it was all downhill from there.

Here is what Tom Coughlin had to say about Hosley:

“He’s a physical tackler who many times is matched up against the opponent’s best receiver. Whether it is the physical aspect of the game, the coming up in run support, the competitiveness of the press position or just playing the ball in the air, this man does have outstanding hands and he’s been able to convert that into interceptions. We feel we can accomplish a lot with this type of athlete. He’s one of those people who’s not backing off anybody.

Reese compared Hosley to Adam “Pacman” Jones, which isn’t exactly the best comparison for off the field issues, but Jones was a great player before his problems got the better of him.

“He plays a lot like Pacman Jones when he first came out,” Reese said. “He runs in there like a little linebacker. If he was a couple of inches taller, he would be in that first row with the first two guys.”

I like the David Wilson and Rueben Randle selections, but Hosley had me scratching my head. Check back for updates on the Giants’ remaining four selections.

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