Happy Friday, New York Giants fans! The weekend is nearly upon us and as we await the official signings of all new rookies, we offer you the following AM headlines to absorb and enjoy over your morning coffee.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara said this week that he hasn't given the Giants enough return for the high draft pick they invested in him in 2011. He's not alone: The same can be said for the top of Big Blue's draft classes as a whole since 2010.
Players selected by general manager Jerry Reese in the first three rounds of the NFL draft (Amukamara was a first-round selection) during the period have averaged just 11.8 starts for the team, the lowest rate in the NFL in that span, according to Stats, LLC. The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks lead the NFC with 25.6 starts for each player selected in rounds 1 through 3.
Reese and the Giants hope to turn that around this year with the selections of wide receiver Odell Beckham (Round 1, 12th overall), center Weston Richburg (Round 2, 43rd) and defensive tackle Jay Bromley (3rd round, 74th).
Jerry Reese has had a very simple philosophy since he became the Giants GM: draft the highest rated player on the board. In most cases, that has worked for the G-Men. In a rebuilding year and with many new offensive coaches on board, I thought the Giants had another good draft.
The Giants needed to add a big play receiver and did just that with the addition of LSU’s Odell Beckham. What made the pick even better, is reportedly the Jets were trying to trade up to get Beckham. I guess we will never know for sure
Beckham has all the traits needed to be a top NFL receiver. He runs very good routes, has the speed to get deep, has great hands and is excellent after the catch. Throw in his return skills and he is a top level player.
Center was also a big need, and Colorado State’s Weston Richburg will come in and start right away. He has very good size and is more athletic than most centers. He also plays the game with a nasty attitude, which is always a plus. Syracuse defensive tackle Jay Bromley fits the mold of what defensive coordinator looks for in an inside lineman. He is a big run stuffer who can occupy blockers and get penetration.
Boston College running back Andre Williams' run skills are as good as any back in the draft. He is not a proficient receiver and that’s why he lasted until the fourth round. Sixth round pick Bennett Jackson a corner form Notre Dame, is an interesting selection. A year ago, he looked like a potential premium round pick. He had shoulder surgery following the 2012 season and was not nearly as physical in 2013. If he reverts back to 2012 form, the Giants got themselves a late round steal.
Odell Beckham Jr. has been championed for precise route running, a must when playing with a gutsy, squeeze-it-into-the-window passer like Eli Manning; he likes to find receivers either really early or really late out of their breaks. Perhaps Manning’s style will change under first-year coordinator Ben McAdoo, who comes over from Green Bay. Regardless, the Giants need Beckham ready to go right away; the new system often uses three-receiver personnel.
Weston Richburg also must be ready on Day One. New York’s only other experienced centers are J.D. Walton, the ex-Bronco who missed most of the past two seasons with injuries, and journeyman Dallas Reynolds. GM Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin must have really liked Andre Williams; this club did not seem to have room for another running back. Now it’s a matter of which backup will be jettisoned to make room for Williams: Peyton Hillis or Da’Rel Scott. David Wilson could be on the chopping block as well as he works his way back from neck surgery, but that seems like a long shot considering how dynamic he’s looked at times when healthy.
On defense, Jay Bromley should enter the rotation immediately. New York’s front four is nowhere near as potent or deep as it was a few years ago.
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