The New York Giants have concluded their OTA and since I was so critical of GM Jerry Reese’s draft selections, I felt it would fair to give the Draft Class of 2013 an early grade during the OTA. Sure it’s early, but let’s review each picks performance thus far.
1st Round (Justin Pugh): Pugh is still unsigned, so his grade is incomplete. His selection as the 19th overall pick was not a welcome addition as there were many more play making players (defense) still available. Regardless, Pugh is a very serviceable OL and should contribute once he signs. Grade: Incomplete
2nd Round (Johnathan Hankins): Based on his performance throughout OTA, Hankins is not going to make many highlights (stats wise), however; he does provide solid run stopping ability which should help the Giants outside rush. Grade: B-
3rd Round (Damonte Moore): Moore’s performance throughout the OTA has mixed reviews; as Moore was a one-dimensional DE/OLB (pass rush) in college. Moore still needs to adjust to the NFL speed and also the sizes of the OL at the NFL level. The Giants are hoping in time that Moore will emerge as a lethal weapon on the pass rush; so far he is not even close. Grade: C
4th Round (Ryan Nassib): Another head scratching selection in the draft; as many (including myself) felt that the Giants should have went in a different direction. Regardless; Nassib is also still unsigned and the likelihood of making any contribution over the next 3-5 years is highly unlikely. Grade: Incomplete
5th Round (Cooper Taylor): Taylor had a steady and solid OTA and looks at this point as a steal in the 5th round. Although it’s not official, the Giants are planning on implemented Taylor in different roles on different packages to utilize his size and speed and gifted athletic ability. Grade: B+
7th Round (Eric Herman): Herman has shown a little glimpse of his strength and ability throughout the OTA, but will have to battle it out with many other OL to secure a roster spot. At this point, it is hard to say if he is ahead of any of the other OL he’s competing against. Grade: C-
Compensatory Pick (Michael Cox): Not sure what to make of Cox throughout the OTA’s. At times, he looks like a steal and at times it’s understandable why he was a compensatory pick. There’s no doubt that Cox has the ability, size and strength to play in the NFL. The question is: can he put it all together in a short time to convince Coach Coughlin. Grade: C-
During the OTA, there were some disappointing events that occurred; such as: the holdout of Victor Cruz, the semi-holdout of Hakeem Nicks, the injury to Jason Pierre-Paul, the holdouts of Justin Pugh and Ryan Nassib. Aside from these few setbacks; there were some bright that needs to be mentioned. Below are a few players who really stepped it up to showcase themselves during the OTA’s and bare watching moving forward.
Adrien Robinson (TE): Robinson has looked more focus and definitely more prepared throughout the OTA. According to Tight Ends Coach Mike Pope “Adrien Robinson has appeared to have gone to the Land of the Believers,” Pope said. “He’s understands assignment-wise, just in our most recent meeting, but the plays are still not the lines on the page that we give them for instruction. So he’s doing a lot of the assignment things correctly. Also, the fact that TE Bear Pascoe will most likely be used at FB for the injured Henry Hynoski, could translate to Robinson seeing a lot more action during the pre-season.
Louis Murphy (WR): Murphy was a free agent signing to help give the Giants a deep threat at the WR position; and thus far, Murphy hasn’t been disappointing. Throughout OTA, Murphy has displayed every bit of his publicized speed and catching ability. In fact, Manning and Murphy have made a habit of connecting on several deep completions thus far. Murphy could be the best free agent signing by GM Jerry Reese this off-season.
Rueben Randle (WR): 2nd year pro Randle really took advantage of the absence of Cruz and Nicks early on during the OTA. Randle has looked more confident in his routes and has caught nearly everything thrown to him. What really stood out during the OTA for Randle was his ability to separate himself from his defender. Unfortunately for Randle, Murphy had a very impressive OTA and I believe Murphy will be Randle’s only main competitor for the 3rd WR spot. Thus far, Randle did nothing to hurt his chances on winning that spot.
Notable mention: Charles James (CB), Mark Herzlich (LB), Justin Tuck (DE), Cullen Jenkins (DT)
Player who did not performed as expected:
Aaron Curry (LB): Curry looked slow at times and needs to convince the Giants that he can still contribute defensively and secure a roster spot.