Giants Steal Manningham in Third

Years from now when draft experts and fans alike look back on Jerry Reese's 2008 Draft, there's as good a chance that third-round pick Mario Manningham will be revered as the class of that class as either of New York's top two selections.

Manningham slipped to the bottom of the third round (95th overall) due to his offseason admission of marijuana use. Sans that, he easily could have been a first-round pick, perhaps even one of the first receivers taken.

"Talent-wise, he really could have gone in the first (round)," Giants GM Jerry Reese said.

The 5-11, 178-pound Manningham spent three seasons with Michigan before declaring for the draft. As a Wolverine he caught 137 passes for 2,310 yards (16.9-yard average) and 27 touchdowns.

Unlike New York's top two picks, New York brought Manningham in for a visit, mostly to ease concerns over his off-field issue.

"We did our homework on him," Reese said. "He's a tremendous value right now where we're picking. We think he'll be OK. Hopefully he learned from his mistakes."

The Manningham selection immediately brings to mind last year's seventh-round pick, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who was picked despite previous run-ins with the law, but kept his nose clean and contributed last season.

"He's kinda like Ahmad last year," Reese said. "If you come in here and do the wrong thing we're not going to tolerate that."

Reese didn't seem the least bit concerned that Manningham would misstep again.

"We brought him in and spent a lot of time with him," he said. "He satisfied all our concerns."

Reese added that Manningham could also be used as a punt returner.

The drafting of Manningham appears to put the future of former second-round pick Sinorice Moss in serious doubt. However, Reese stressed that was not the case.

"We're not giving up on Sinorice Moss," he said. "We think he's going to have a big year for us."


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