Jan 28, 2007

Giants 2006 Season Recap Part 4: The Future

A good, basic read on first time DC Steve Spagnuolo.

I love the draft. Everything about it. The excitement, hope and promise of a successful future often hinges on draft day picks.

My general feeling concerning the NFL draft (and other sports) is to take the BPA (best player available) early on (unless there's absolutely no need for it - like QB or DE for the Giants, or a desperately needed player is not far behind the BPA). That's how I feel the Jints should draft for the first two rounds, then concentrate more on need. With that in mind, here are my positions of need for the Jints.
1. CB
2. S
3. OLB
4. RB
5. DT
6. WR

What I expect:

#1 Oakland - QB Jamarcus Russell, Louisiana State (video - stats)

Most mock drafts have the Raiders taking Russell with the #1 overall pick. I would agree with that. With a tremendously weak offense, a scrambling QB is preferable to the more traditional pocket passer type, like Notre Dame's Brady Quinn. With the poor offensive line Oakland has, they'll need a QB who can escape the constant pass rush.

#20 Giants - DT Quinn Pitcock, Ohio State (stats)

I'm going with Pitcock because I think several better players (Marshawn Lynch, Darrelle Revis, Leon Hall, Ted Ginn, Amobi Okoye, Lawrence Timmons) will be off the board at this point. Pitcock will be the best value at #20, but I'd love to take Ginn, Okoye or Timmons. With injuries that ravaged the d-line (causing Adrian Awasom and William Joseph to play extended periods at DE), the Giants, despite having two solid DTs, need to shore up their overall d-line depth, which should mean a better pass rush and better run D, which was exhausted at the end of the season, allowing Washington and Philly to run at will.

Since CB is such a difficult position to judge through the draft, I'd love the Jints to sign either Asante Samuel or Nate Clements (two proven but young vets) to be the #1 CB, enabling them to focus on other areas come draft day. I'm not that high on signing LB Lance Briggs or Adalius Thomas, who I think are mostly products of their overall defenses.

Some other potential Giants picks:

The dream pick is Louisville's 19-year-old DT Amobi Okoye. He began college at 15, and will begin his NFL career at just 20. He is not the best DT right now, but because of his youth, has probably the most upside among all defensive players in the draft. Stats/bio.

In several mock drafts, Ohio State's Ted Ginn is taken #19 by Tennessee. Damn, would I love to see him drop one more spot to the Giants. I know WR is not a priority, what with Plax, Shockey, Amani returning, and Moss getting more playing time, but he's just so damn exciting. Simply from a fan's perspective, I would love to watch Ginn on a weekly basis. Kevin Gilbride has been talking about stretching the field next season, and there's no one better at that in the college ranks than Ted Ginn. However, after he (I expect) shines at the combine, he'll be taken in the top 15. Watching his highlights almost makes me want the Jints to trade up to get him - but then I remember what we gave up to get Eli... Video - stats/bio.

Now that Tiki is retired, the Giants (not necessarily me) may want to select a RB in rd. 1. The only reason I'd concur is if Cal's Marshawn Lynch falls to #20. Otherwise, I don't have a problem depending on Big J to be the primary runner in '07. He has two years under his belt, and should be primed to step into a full-time role. There are some other good RBs that can be had later in the draft: Florida State's Lorenzo Booker, Ohio State's Antonio Pittman, and Northern Illinois' Garrett Wolfe (just to name a few). They can be the lightning to Big J's thunder. However, I expect Green Bay to take Lynch with the 16th overall pick - they need a solid RB desperately. Video - stats/bio.

A common pick among mock drafts is Pittsburgh CB Darrelle Revis to the Giants. He apparently was so feared by opposing offenses that the ball was only thrown his direction 9 times all season! I can't verify this, but if true, it would be astounding. Some mock drafts have him as the first cornerback taken, so I would be surprised to see him fall farther than #17. Video - stats.

Another CB expected to be taken high is Michigan's Leon Hall, considered the best all-around CB in the draft. He was part of a great defense, and even returned punts. He's not as physically gifted (speed, agility, size) as some of the other CBs, but is smart and strong which should make him an early pick. The Giants would be lucky if Hall fell to them. Video - stats/bio.

A gaping hole was exposed after Lavar Arrington went down: speed at the LB position. Florida State's Lawrence Timmons is somewhat raw, but has tremendous talent. He could wind up being a better LB than his old teammate, Ernie Sims, who was taken 9th overall last year. I'm an FSU fan, so I watched him a number of times this year. He is capable of wreaking havoc on an offense (making a sick 18 tackles for a loss this year!), and has the speed to run down RBs from behind. However, I expect he also will excel at the combine and be taken before #20. Stats.

And do not forget about my sleeper pick of the draft, Maryland QB Sam Hollenbach. He was, honestly, by far the most accurate college passer I saw this season (something Eli needs desperately). And it's not just the touch and pinpoint precision, but the arm strength to throw beautiful deep balls, and the size (6'4") to succeed at the NFL level. Video - stats/bio.

I can't wait until April 28th. (Of course, there's one game left to play...)

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