- Round 1: Odell Beckham Jr.
And with the twelfth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the New York Giants select…….. Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver, LSU. The New York Giants needed a receiver in this draft, but it was a stretch to get Beckham here. Don’t get me wrong, he is a terrific receiver and adds a playmaker for the Giants. However, given the depth of this draft at receiver and who was available the Giants could have done better. One thing the Giants have been great at is finding wide outs in later rounds. They already have Cruz and Randle who are wideouts that can stretch the field. If anything, they needed a bigger target to fill Nicks’ shoes by being a red zone threat and the go to target on third down. With other great prospects available like Aaron Donald who would have been a perfect fit on the defensive line or Zack Martin to bolster the offensive line Beckham was a stretch. Receiver was a need, but not one of the Giants biggest needs. Also, would it kill Jerry Reese to draft a linebacker? Seriously? CJ Mosley could have been the Giants middle linebacker for the next decade and sured up the defense. With other better options available and the depth of receiver in this draft, this pick could have been used better. Grade: C –
- Round 2: Weston Richburg
This pick does address the woes on the offensive line, but still is another stretch pick. Richburg is considered one of the top centers in the draft but the confusing thing is that the best center was still there. Marcus Martin is the best center in the draft and was available when the Giants picked. If anything, the Giants could have waited another round or two to pick Richburg. Richburg is a good leader and a center who can pull effectively in the running game. He does have the tool set to compete and probably be the starting center in 2014. However, with the best center still on the board and better players like Troy Nicklas and Jace Amaro available at tight end, another position of need, this was another stretch pick the Giants didn’t necessarily need to make. Grade: C
- Round 3: Jay Bromley
Another pick, another stretch. Projected as a fifth round pick, the Giants decided to boost their defensive line with Syracuse’s Jay Bromley. Bromley projects to be a rotational defensive tackle that is a solid pass rusher and run stopper. The issue is he is not an upgrade over what they already have and will have minimal impact next season. By passing Donald in the first round, the Giants should have used to pick to address other needs. Plus Louis Nix, a better defensive tackle, was available. he would have been a better pick or even Auburn’s Tre Mason at running back. With other players available on the offensive line and at linebacker, the Giants could have once again used this pick better. Grade: C –
- Round 4: Andre Williams
With Rashad Jennings already in the fold, Williams will be a great complement in the Giants backfield. He may not be a dynamic back or make catches out of the backfield, but he is a tough in between the tackles runner. Williams is a solid back who just runs the ball well. He projects to be a 20-25 carry back and could be the feature back for the Giants attack sooner than later. With great value and helping to take pressure off of Eli with the running game, this pick could turn out being one of the steals of the draft. Grade: A+
- Round 5: Nat Berhe
The Giants did address the depth at safety, however once again there were better options available. The problem is that Berhe maybe a great backup/role player for the Giants, but there were starters available. True, Berhe has the potential to be a starter down the line, but the Giants could have upgraded the offensive line with Cyril Richardson at guard who could start from day one. Also, Aj McCarron was still available and would have been a great backup for Eli Manning. There’s no question he is an upgrade over Curtis Painter. While it’s not a bad pick, it could have been better by addressing the offensive line or backup quarterback. Grade: C
- Round 5: Devon Kennard
Devon Kennard is a solid pick for the Giants here. Kennard may not be a physically dominating player, but his intangibles and motor make him a football player that’s hard to dislike. His versatility makes him an instant backup for the Giants as he fills the depth at linebacker in both the middle and outside. He will not be a starter, but will be a valuable backup and special teams player who will make the roster from day one. The only thing that I do not like about this is once again the Giants leave the need at linebacker on the back burner. With plenty of talent in the first four rounds at the position it’s a head scratcher why the position wasn’t addressed earlier. Overall a solid pick that addresses the depth chart. Grade: B
- Round 6: Bennett Jackson
Once again right idea, just a little too late. With better prospects in the earlier rounds, drafting Jackson here is a decent pick but just comes off as better late than never from the Giants brass. A very good athlete Jackson is a raw corner who will need time to develop. If he hopes to make the 53 man roster he must become a good special teams player. He could be depth at corner, but is probably below the fourth spot on the depth chart and will better suited to the practice squad. With Daniel McCullers still available at defensive tackle, it seems like the Giants took on the wrong project at this point. Best case scenario is that Jackson becomes a slot corner for the Giants or a solid backup. Worse case, he will be unemployed by the start of 2014. Grade B –
- Overall Grade: C
Giants fans may think this grade is harsh, but if it wasn’t for the Andre Williams pick this grade would be at least a C -. Why so harsh you say? The Giants came in with only a handful of draft picks and needed to make everyone count. By not trading back to acquire more picks the Giants decided to stretch for prospects with better options on the board. They did not address the tight end position at all in the draft despite having solid options in rounds 2-3 and capable projects later on. The Giants went after a very good receiver, who I think will be great Giants fans, but there were better options available at the time and he doesn’t fit the big target receiver the Giants need. While Beckham will be a good pairing with Cruz, the Giants missed out on talented players that could have made a bigger impact. In round 2, they did draft a center but not the best one available and one that would have been available later. Also, they passed on talented tight ends that would have helped Eli. The big problem for the Giants was that in rounds 1-3 they reached for players that were late round picks while avoiding talented players who could have had a bigger impact. In the later rounds they did add some critical depth, but outside of Williams these players do not look like contributors outside of backups in 2014. Last year was a rough one for the Giants. However, 2014 could be worse as the Giants neglected key holes on their defense and offensive line. It’s great Eli has more weapons, but what good will that do if he is on the turf? I could be wrong about this draft and the Giants may have made some great picks. But as of now Big Blue looks more like the Little Giants after the 2014 NFL Draft.