New York Giants GM Jerry Reese Faces Important Task With 2014 NFL Draft

By Evan Slavit
Jerry Reese
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have been more active in free agency than they’ve been in years. For a team that prefers to build through the draft, they’ve already added 19 players in the first few weeks of the offseason. It’s a response following a 7-9 season that was even more disappointing than the record indicated, and that is because of recent failures in the draft. That is something that can’t happen again this year.

Whether bad luck or bad scouting, the Giants have failed to restock with impact players in recent years.

2012 Draft

Round 1: David Wilson RB   Round 2: Rueben Randle WR  Round 3: Jayron Hosley CB  Round 4: Adrien Robinson TE Round 4: Brandon Mosley OL   Round 6: Matt McCants OL   Round 7: Markus Kuhn DT

Last season their most impactful player from the 2012 draft was Randle, and he failed to establish himself as the Giants’ second receiver despite Hakeem Nicks‘ struggles. Wilson was injured most of the year, and even when healthy he was a major disappointment. Hosley had injury issues, and like Wilson, failed to prove anything when healthy. He struggled to even make it onto the field.

Robinson is another player with potential who struggled to find playing time. He was often one of the Giants’ inactives even though Brandon Myers disappointed at tight end. Kuhn might’ve been the most consistent player from the entire class, and he started the season on the PUP.

2011 Draft

Round 1: Prince Amukamara  CB   Round 2: Marvin Austin DT  Round 3: Jerrel Jernigan WR   Round 4: James Brewer OL   Round 6: Greg Jones LB  Round 6: Tyler Sash S   Round 6: Jacquian Williams LB   Round 7: Da’Rel Scott RB

Only Amukamara has proven to be a starter. Jernigan flashed potential at the end of the year, and Williams has proven to be solid but unspectacular as a package linebacker. Otherwise only Brewer is still on the team, and that speaks more to the team’s lack of offensive line depth than anything Brewer has done.

2010 Draft

Round 1: Jason Pierre-Paul DE   Round 2: Linval Joseph DT   Round 3: Chad Jones S   Round 4: Phillip Dillard LB   Round 5: Mitch Petrus OL   Round 6: Adrian Tracy DE  Round 7: Matt Dodge P

The first two rounds produced stars in Jason Pierre-Paul and Linval Joseph. No one else has made much of an impact in the NFL. Only JPP is still on the team.

2009 Draft

Round 1: Nicks WR   Round 2: Clint Sintim LB   Round 2: Will Beatty OT   Round 3: Travis Beckum TE   Round 3: Ramses Barden WR   Round 4: Andre Brown RB   Round 5: Rhett Bomar QB   Round 6: DeAndre Wright DB   Round 7: Stoney Woodson DB

Sintim and Beckum never became anything. Neither has Barden — though he still has potential — and Beatty is coming off arguably his worst season. Reese did strike gold in the first with the selection of Nicks, but injuries have since derailed his career with the Giants. Brown has been solid when he’s gotten a chance, but he’s far from a difference-maker and has had his own injury issues.

2008 Draft

Round 1: Kenny Phillips S   Round 2: Terrell Thomas CB   Round 3: Mario Manningham WR   Round 4: Bryan Kehl LB   Round 5: Jonathan Goff LB   Round 6: Andre Woodson QB   Round 7: Robert Henderson DE

Injuries robbed the Giants of the talent from this class. Phillips, Thomas and Manningham were good players. Unfortunately all have dealt with severe injuries. Phillips has yet to catch on with a team since he was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles last training camp, and Thomas missed two straight seasons with ACL injuries — though he did manage to return to be a solid slot corner. Manningham was a great third receiver, but an ACL injury in 2012 has limited him since.

Even Reese’s first draft, the great 2007 class, was derailed from injuries. Aaron Ross and Steve Smith were stars with the Giants, but injuries forced Smith to retire and have made Ross a journeyman. Injuries took their toll on Ahmad Bradshaw and destroyed Jay Alford‘s career before it ever really took off.

While Reese was applauded for his early efforts, injuries and bad luck have zapped the Giants of the depth they hoped to build through the draft. The response was a more active free agency than the Giants are comfortable with. Even with all the moves there are still plenty of holes. If the Giants want to return to their former glory, they have to have success in the draft once again. Last year’s draft has some promising players, but with a draft as loaded as the one coming up in May, Reese can’t afford to miss on his first three picks

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