New York Giants GM Jerry Reese has done a good job filling the roster through free agency thus far. Now to complete his objective, Reese must be successful in the 2014 NFL draft. Arguably one of the deepest drafts in recent years, the Giants will have 7 picks available (see chart below) and many holes still needed to be filled. In the past, it’s been difficult to gauge what direction GM Jerry Reese will go. However; after the free agent signings, it seems a little clearer how Reese will approach the draft. The biggest debate is whether Reese should draft by need or by the BPA in each round. In past drafts, Reese has made some questionable selections (reaches) and unfortunately, some didn’t pan out. In this year’s draft, it’s imperative that Reese has success in many of the rounds and not just in rounds 1 and 2. The Giants will have the following selections in the upcoming draft:
Those picks are….
Round 1: Pick 12/Round 2: Pick 11 (43rd overall)/Round 3: Pick 10 (74)/Round 4: Pick 13 (113)
Round 5: Picks 12 (152) and Pick 34 (174)/Round 6: Pick 11 (187)
Historically; Reese doesn’t like to trade up or down on draft day. Last season, he did when he traded up to get Ryan Nassib, but other than that Reese is more of a stationary GM. So I will assume that Reese will not be active in that regards and will base my speculations on that. The following projections will be based on need and talent available (BPA). My prediction of who I believe the Giants should select and also who I believe Reese will eventually pick, along with his alternative:
Round 1: 12th overall selection.
My Pick: Aaron Donald (DT) Pittsburgh:
Reese’s Pick: Eric Ebron (TE) North Carolina
Alternative: Taylor Lewan (OT) Michigan
The TE position is this year’s draft is much deeper than the DT position. With that in mind and the fact the Giants lost Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck through free agency. Also, throw in the fact that JPP had an off year after back surgery, an unproven Damontre Moore, and an unproductive Kiwanuka. Selecting Donald would give the Giants an inside presence on the DL that would cause mismatches and disruption. Donald can utilize his ability along the DL and also play DE on the edge. This pick makes sense for the Giants as it helps restore their DL.
Round 2: 43rd overall selection
My Pick: Antonio Richardson (OT) Tennessee
Reese’s Pick: JaWuan James (OT) Tennessee
Alternative: Troy Niklas (TE) Notre Dame
Richardson is huge (6’6/336) with the strength to match (36 reps). Along with James, Tennessee had arguably the best pair of OT in college football. Richardson displays good technique and quickness for his size. A better run blocker than pass defender; has the ability to improve at the Pro level.
Niklas has all the attributes to be a successful TE in the NFL, size (6’6/270), strength (27 reps on the bench press) and athleticism as he could be a mismatch for opponents; especially in the red zone.Niklas wasn’t as productive as Ebron, Amaro or Seferian-Jenkins at the college level. However; Niklas played on an offense at Notre Dame that wasn’t geared on passing the ball as much as the player’s teams mentioned above.
Round 3: 74th overall selection;
My Pick: C.J Fiedorowicz (TE) Iowa
Reese’s Pick: Martavis Bryant (WR) Clemson
Alternative: Keith McGill (CB) Utah
Fiedorowicz has all the attributes to be a successful TE in the NFL, size (6’5/265), strength (25 reps on the bench press) and athleticism as he could be a mismatch for opponents; especially in the red zone.Fiedorowicz wasn’t as productive as Ebron, Amaro or Seferian-Jenkins at the college level. However; Fiedorowicz is a steady productive TE, who blocks well and will be a solid contributor for the Giants.
Round 4; 113th overall selection:
My Pick: Will Clarke (DE) West Virginia
Reese’s Pick: Daniel McCullers (DT) Tennessee
Alternative: Devin Street (WR) Pittsburgh
Will Clarke did not play for a team that overwhelmed their opponent’s in 2013. His production doesn’t jump out at you as Clarke faced double teams most of the time. Clarke has tremendous length and upper body strength. Combination of speed and power gives Clarke the intangibles to be a lethal weapon on the edge.
Round 5: 152nd overall selection:
My Pick: Brandon Coleman (WR) Rutgers
Reese’s Pick: Tyler Larsen (OC) Utah State
Alternative: Aaron Lynch (DE) South Florida
Despite the signing and return of Mario Manningham, the Giants still need to add a WR with size and Coleman has all the bells and whistles. Arguably the deepest position in this year’s draft, Coleman (6’6/ 225) also possesses good speed (4.56). Not only can Coleman be a threat in the red zone, but also between the 20 yard lines as well.
Round 5: 174th overall selection
My Pick: Bryan Stork (OC) Alabama
Reese’s Pick: Rajion Neal (RB) Tennessee
Alternative: Bryan Stork (OC) Alabama
Stork is big (6’4/315) and nasty, a steady OL for Alabama’s over the last couple of years and displayed very good technique as a pass defender and run blocker. Stork will not be the fastest OL on the field, but he will be one of the most efficient with an endless motor.
Round 6: 187th overall selection:
My Pick: Isaiah Crowell (RB) Alabama State:
Reese’s Pick: Taylor Hart (DE) Oregon
Alternative: Ryan Carrethers (DT) Arkansas State
Crowell was a standout HS prospect when he declared his intentions on going to the University of Georgia. A solid freshman and sophomore seasons until Crowell was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm. Crowell transferred to Alabama State to get a fresh start and performed well over the last 2 seasons. Crowell kind of reminds me of Ahmad Bradshaw, both in playing ability and also personal issues that effective his draft status. However; Crowell seems to have put all the negative problems behind him now and will be a quality pick in round 6.
Final Thoughts: Based on Jerry Reese’s last two drafts, this year’s draft needs to resemble Reese’s 2007 draft, which was Reese’s 1st season as the Giants GM. Arguably the deepest draft in recent years, there’s no excuse for Reese to not have a successful one. If so, the Giants can regain their dominance in the NFC east. If not, then Reese might be looking at his final year as GM for the Giants.