TGI Analyzes the Draft

Want to hear why TGI thought Jerry Reese hit his second consecutive late-April home run? Of course you do. Then read on. In today's day and age of instant gratification, we thought it was only right to grade the Giants 2008 Draft – only minutes after the conclusion of New York's seven picks.

It's awful tough to argue with either of the first two selections. The Giants could certainly use secondary help and grabbing two starters from high-profile schools was definitely the way to go. Kenny Phillips should be a starter by opening day and Terrell Thomas will probably be subbing in as the nickel corner before too long.

With Jerod Mayo long off the board by the time New York selected at 31, and Antoine Cason going shortly before the Giants' first pick, the only two other strong considerations that could be made for this pick were Arkansas State safety Tyrell Johnson and Penn State LB Dan Connor, who shockingly slid into the third round.

New York's third pick is the most intriguing to us. Mario Manningham is a big-time receiver with deep, game-breaking skills that consistently performed at a high level in one of the nation's most talented conferences. This isn't to say that smoking weed is excusable; just that he didn't exactly kill anybody. If he's able to stay on the straight and narrow, which shouldn't be all that difficult with the Giants' help, then Big Blue just might have landed themselves a star receiver for the foreseeable future. A quartet of Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham will do wonders to pad Eli Manning's stats the next few seasons.

It's hard to get too excited – nor be too critical – of the next two picks. But grabbing a pair of linebackers, one who can play outside (Bryan Kehl) and the other inside (Jonathan Goff), surely addresses a couple more New York needs. It seems as if each will contribute right away on special teams and could certainly push young vets like Gerris Wilkinson and Chase Blackburn for playing time, if not roster spots.

The Giants might have struck gold again in the sixth round with the selection of Kentucky QB Andre' Woodson, who was a Heisman Trophy candidate heading into last season. No, no one's looking to replace Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning but it sure would be nice to have a young, talented backup around for the next few years. If nothing else, if the Giants can develop Woodson into a starting caliber signal-caller, they'll be able to get something in return for him down the line.

While it's uncertain who goes now and who goes at the end of training camp, there's no doubt that Jared Lorenzen and Anthony Wright will both be former Giants before too long.

We won't insult you by weighing in too heavily on the final pick, since to be quite honest, TGI had never heard of him heading into the draft. However, it's tough to argue with the position selected, nor the size (6-3, 280) nor speed (4.87) of Robert Henderson.

The only possible complaint would be that New York only selected two offensive players and didn't address the perceived lack of depth at OT. But besides that, it sure seems as if Jerry Reese just might have nailed his second straight draft.

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