Finally we have come to the end of our Draft Grader series and we’ve literally saved the best for last. By best, of course, we mean the Super Bowl Champions, and that means it’s time to hold the New York Giants’ 2008, 2009 and 2010 draft classes to account.
Every pick gets a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon;
• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for
Let’s take a look at how the Giants drafted.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
With Eli Manning on the roster they needn’t worry.
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Hakeem Nicks, WR (29th overall pick in 2009): The star of the 2009 class, Nicks has been everything the Giants hoped he would be and more. Nothing underlined this like his post season play, where he was a difference-maker on his way to picking up a first Super Bowl ring, collecting 445 yards and four touchdowns. Amassed a +32.5 over three years with the club.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE (15th overall pick in 2010): The scariest thing about Pierre-Paul is he can get better by getting more consistent. Even with the room for improvement, he’s emerged as one of the league’s biggest difference makers, turning an awful lot of pressure into sacks, coming up with stops in the run game and even blocking a field goal when required. Already one of the best defensive ends in the NFL.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Kenny Phillips, S (31st overall pick in 2008): With Phillips not playing all that much in his first two years (719 snaps combined) he kind of fell off the radar, not getting the kind of attention most first round picks do after a bad injury. It’s a shame because over the last two years Phillips has established himself as one of league’s most reliable safeties. His +18.9 grade over that period is a testament to that.
Mario Manningham, WR (95th overall pick in 2008): Manningham may never have established himself as a true starter for the Giants, but he’s made plays. 28 forced missed tackles over 2009 and 2010 show what he is capable of, while his Super Bowl catch will live long in the memory of all who watched it. Good value in the third round.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Jonathan Goff, LB (165th overall pick in 2008): What do you expect out of a fifth round pick? Goff hardly played his first two years, before earning a starting spot as a two down linebacker in 2010. Whilst something of a liability in coverage, Goff exceeded expectations with a +14.5 run defense grade. Injury cost him a starting spot and likely his Giants career but this was a productive fifth round pick.
Linval Joseph, DT (46th overall pick in 2010): Struggled to get on the field as a rookie before being forced into the starting lineup in Year 2. Responded in a positive fashion, earning a +8.1 grade on 764 sophomore snaps.
0.0: It could have been worse
Terrell Thomas, CB (63rd overall pick in 2008): A talented cornerback, Thomas hasn’t always had the best of times in New York. His excellent 2009 was followed up by a pretty poor 2010 (despite the picks), whilst missing his entire 2011 season on injured reserve. If he can find his sophomore season form in 2012 this is warrants a positive.
Andre Woodson, QB (198th overall pick in 2008): Anyone remember when Woodson was once viewed as a first round pick? Spent his rookie year bouncing on and off the practice squad before being another team decided to end his Giants tenure.
Robert Henderson, DE (199th overall pick in 2008): The former sixth round pick was waived after spending his rookie year on injured reserve.
William Beatty, T (60th overall pick in 2009): Looked like he could be a starter in 2011 before a detached retina ended his year. Outside of some problems with Trent Cole handled himself very well.
Andre Brown, RB (129th overall pick in 2009): Ruptured his Achilles as a rookie and struggled to ever recover from it, missing his first two seasons with injured reserve. Subsequently waived as the Giants wondered what might have been.
Chad Jones, S (76th overall pick in 2010): Still trying to make it onto the field after a horrific car accident he was in after being drafted.
Mitch Petrus, G (147th overall pick in 2010): Too early to tell what type of player Petrus will be. In 282 snaps with the G-Men, has looked solid in the run blocking department but a liability on his heels. Small sample size.
Adrian Tracy, LB (184th overall pick in 2010): One of those tweener linebacker/defensive ends the Giants do like, missed his rookie year on injured reserve before being cut a year later.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Bryan Kehl, LB (123rd overall pick in 2008): This former fourth round pick only got on the field for 255 snaps while helping out on special teams. You’d like to see more from a player picked where he was.
Clint Sintim, LB (45th overall pick in 2009): Injuries haven’t helped Sintim, but the Giants must have been hoping for 180 snaps and a -2.7 grade since being drafted.
Ramses Barden, WR (85th overall pick in 2009): Has failed to make much of an impact despite prototypical NFL size. In three seasons has managed just 209 snaps.
Travis Beckum, TE (100th overall pick in 2009): The late third round hasn’t exactly starred for the Giants, and managing only 563 snaps over three years. Not much of a contributor on special teams, Beckum has failed to take advantage of what opportunities have been presented to him.
Rhett Bomar, QB (151st overall pick in 2009): Spent the majority of his time as a Giant on the practice squad before the Vikings signed him away in December 2010.
DeAndre Wright, CB (200th overall pick in 2009): Cut as a rookie, he wasn’t deemed worth a practice squad spot.
Stoney Woodson, CB (238th overall pick in 2009): Another rookie not deemed worth a practice squad after being cut as a rookie.
Phillip Dillard, LB (115th overall pick in 2010): The former fourth-rounder saw the field for just three snaps on defense before being cut after a year with the club and the team short on healthy linebackers. Two tackles on special teams in 2010 don’t save this.
Matt Dodge, P (221st overall pick in 2010): If you spend a pick on a punter he better be a good one. Dodge was capable of looking good, but too often that made way to bad punts that crippled his team.
-1.0: What a waste!
None here …
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
… or here.
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
No Russell/ Leaf hybrids in this draft.
It may seem odd, but the Giants haven’t found a truckload of talent from their drafts, though there is one consistent thing about them: they absolutely nail their first-rounder. In 2009 and 2010 in particular they haven’t just found a contributor, but difference-makers that have propelled them to another Super Bowl with their ability to make plays. If you’re not going to find a lot of talent in the later rounds, you need to hit on your biggest pick, and New York has done that and then some.