Top Dogs

Giants might have struck draft gold <BR><BR>

Please give us your thoughts on this year's Giants draft class.

Well, first of all, we like it a lot more than last year's effort even though they had fewer picks this year. In general, they seemed to get good value with where their picks were made and they also tried to focus on need as well.

Obviously, the big story was Eli Manning and everything that took place leading up to that pick. It was a brave move for sure. They set their sights on a player we believe was the best player in the draft and in the end, they got him. There is something to be said for that.

Did they give up too much to get him? The "knee-jerk" answer given by most pundits is yes. However, we don't subscribe to that theory. If Manning becomes the excellent player that we and/or the Giants believe he will, then the answer is no, they did not give up too much. In two or three years, if he progresses the way many scouts think he will, then no one will care or remember what they gave up to get him.

The immediate problem is that there will be a learning curve involved, as there is for every college QB who moves up into the pro game. Without Kerry Collins on the team it is conceivable they will struggle this season. The "you know what" will hit the fan if they go 6-10 or 5-11 and next year's first round pick is a very high pick. The naysayers will be out in force. This is one of those deals that command time before a true evaluation can be made and it is our opinion that in the long run, it will turn out to be highly favorable for the Giants.

There is one thing that bothers us about the whole Manning situation or "ArchieGate." We know for a fact that a deal was in place with the Browns for the Giants to move down to the seventh pick and that the Giants backed out. We were told that the deal was reported to the league by the Browns and the only thing remaining was confirmation of the trade by the Giants. That confirmation never came and the Giants selected Philip Rivers.

It is 99.9 percent certain that the Browns would then have taken Sean Taylor at four, the Redskins would have taken Kellen Winslow at five and the Lions would have taken the guy they wanted all along, Roy Williams, at six. That means the Giants could have still taken Rivers at seven and traded him to the Chargers. They key is the Browns would have given the Giants their second round pick to make the deal. That would have given the Giants two second round picks as ammunition to trade with the Chargers, who would have taken a two and a four this year. The Giants would still have had a second round pick as well as next year's first round pick. Of course, there was a chance someone could have traded in front of them and selected Rivers, but that didn't seem likely. Even so the fall back guy would have been Ben Roethlisberger, whom they had rated higher than Rivers on their value board.

Chris Snee in round two was a solid pick. We like the player. He's not the type of player you will see complaining to the Players Union that practices are too tough and apparently the Giants need more of those type players and less crybaby whiners. He's tough, hardnosed and a real battler. It should not take long for him to become a starter and a very good performer. He will help improve what was an awful situation on the line. The problem is his relationship with Tom Coughlin. They may be skating on thin ice here. It is almost a no-win situation unless he goes on to become an All-Pro guard. Truthfully, we would not have made this pick for that reason. They think it can work, so we will have to see, but it has the potential to become an internal problem. We have to wonder how he will be accepted by his teammates. Will they shut him out? Or will he become part of the necessary chemistry involved in team building? It will be interesting to watch.

What a coincidence. At the draft on Sunday morning before the Giants made the first pick of the day, we ran into a fellow that we met several years ago at the Blue/Gray game. Over the years we have stayed in touch. Up until recently he was a defensive coach at Auburn. He has since moved on to a higher position at another college. He was looking through my list of players who were undrafted at that point and said: "Someone should take Reggie Torbor. He is a heck of a player with a lot of ability. Someone needs to move him to LB, probably the strong side."

No sooner were the words out of his mouth then the announcement came: The Giants selected Reggie Torbor. We are excited about his potential. He is raw for sure; he will be moving from down defensive end to stand up linebacker and not everyone can make that change efficiently. He is going to require some work, but he has very good physical skills. While we can't guarantee success, we really like the pick. Let's see if he can develop. He certainly brings a lot more to the table than Quincy Monk.

Gibril Wilson also fills a need at safety. It has been our contention that the Giants safeties don't make enough plays. If Wilson can find a way to make Omar Stoutmire the backup we would feel better about the secondary, but that may be a stretch. Wilson is a willing player. He will hit and he will make plays. Our concern is with recognition. He often looks like he doesn't always see things quick enough. Nonetheless he is a hard worker and perhaps they have improved.

Jamaar Taylor in round six represents a bit of a gamble because he is fresh from a severe knee injury. He was having a very good senior season at Texas A&M before he was injured; he certainly would have gone sooner than the sixth round. He may not be ready for a while, but they will have the opportunity to carry him on a PUP list if he's not. He has nice skills to work with, so from that aspect it was a good pick. Just don't look for him to contribute much this coming season.

Drew Strojny is big and smart. He also needs a lot of work. The biggest concern is his lack of strength. He needs technique work also. We got to see him at the East/West Shrine game and he struggled in protection drills. In fact, the Giants' other seventh round pick, Isaac Hilton, ate him up in the drills. The seventh round is where we would expect a developmental prospect like Strojny. We would expect to see him on their practice squad this year.

Isaac Hilton is an extremely interesting selection in round seven. We liked him very much as a small school prospect. We thought he had a chance to go much sooner in the draft. So, perhaps they got a seventh round steal. He does have exciting physical skills. We can see him as a potent pass rusher. Yes, he is raw and will require technique coaching, but unlike some players he has coachable attributes. He dominated at his level of play and that earns him a chance in the big show. Keep an eye on him in camp. He may turn out to be a huge surprise.

In conclusion, this was a greatly improved effort from last year. This looks like it has a chance to be a solid draft, but again we caution against measuring or grading this draft too soon. It may take a while for it to develop into what we believe it can become.


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