By Kevin Casey
Well, the draft is over. For starters, I love the new format the NFL introduced. With that being said, it could be better. If the NFL moved rounds 1 and 2 to Friday night, then wrapped the draft the following day, it would be even more appealing. 7 rounds spread out over 3 days is a little too much and the only people who are absolutely happy with it are journalists; the NFL made their already easy job even easier. Now on to the Giants. I'll admit, I don't know a lot about every one of them, but I know enough to grade them. So, here they are:
Round 1, Pick 15 - Jason Pierre Paul, DE - South Florida - Grade A-:
I called this one on Thursday afternoon. The only way the Giants were going to get the two players they loved, CJ Spiller and Rolando McClain, was to trade up. Spiller went to the Bill with pick 7, and McClain went to the Raiders with the next pick at 8. If the Giants wanted to get either one of them they would have been forced to give up a lot of picks and that is not what Jerry Reese does. So at pick 15 they took Jason Pierre Paul to add depth to their already formidable defensive end corps. Pierre-Paul will play from day 1 in 2010. He is a beast with a world of talent and potential. Many experts who like him compare him to Javon Kearse, and Tom Coughlin has already referred to Pierre-Paul as "a freak." With that being said, the Giants took him with the best overall DE, Derrick Morgan, still on the board. Pierre-Paul has only 1 year of high level college ball under his belt, and only began playing football in his junior year of high school. He is a pure pass rusher and is very weak against the run, ala Osi. Every year in the draft at least half of the first rounders wind up being busts, and with Pierre-Paul's limited history, he could very well be one of the busts of this draft. If the Giants were not going to address their needs at DT or MLB with this pick, I think they should have taken Dez Bryant (who went to the Cowboys). Despite his alleged problems off the field, he is a can't miss receiver and he could have made the Giants, in a passing league, that much better. Instead, he went to the Cowboys and for that reason alone, I give this pick a A-.
Round 2, Pick 14 - Linval Joseph, DT - Easter Carolina - Grade C:
The last time the Giants drafted a DT with the last name Joseph, he was a complete bust. This Joseph reminds is in the same mold of the other Joseph, and quite frankly, I think the Giants dropped the ball here. With their hole at MLB, Sean Lee (MLB-Penn State) was there for the taking, and they didn't grab him. Instead, the Giants drafted this overweight DT and allowed Lee to go to the Cowboys. I think the Giants will regret this in the very near future in that I believe Sean Lee will be a star and Joseph, at best, a serviceable DT. If the Giants were set on drafting a DT here, I find it hard to believe that they couldn't have gotten Albert Haynesworth from the Redskins for this pick and maybe another in the late rounds this year or next.
Round 3, Pick 13 - Chad Jones, S - LSU - Grade A:
Getting Jones here was clearly a value pick more than filling a need, but they certainly got value. Jones has a knack for the ball and with the uncertainty of Kenny Phillips return, this was an absolutely awesome pick. Even if Phillips returns full strength, he can be an invaluable special teams player in 2010 as a kickoff gunner all the while learning the safety position from the veteran Deon Grant. I love this pick and I feel that looking back in a couple years, this is the one pick that will stand out.
Round 4, Pick 17 - Phillip Dillard, MLB - Nebraska - Grade C-:
I give this pick a C- only because the Giants passed on Sean Lee in round 2. If the Giants got Lee, and also grabbed Dillard, then this pick would be an A. Dillard is small, 6'0, and is also very weak against the run. He's fast and can cover backs, but covering TEs will be hard for him given his size. The Giants could very well be in trouble if they enter training camp with Jonathan Goff and Phillip Dillard fighting it out for the starting MLB position.
Round 5, Pick 15 - Mitch Petrus, G - Arkansas - Grade B+:
I like this pick. Petrus is a monster and has superhuman upper body strength. At the combine, he did more bench press reps than anyone. He was part of the OL at Arkansas that blocked for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Neither McFadden nor Jones have impressed in the NFL, so I believe their success was due to the OL Petrus was part of. The Giants OL is getting old, and this pick is for the future and I think Jerry made a nice pick here.
Round 6, Pick 15 - Adrian Tracy, OLB - William & Mary - Grade D:
This pick doesn't make much sense to me. He is Clint Sintim all over again, minus playing for a big-time college program. The Giants have a need at RB, and LaGarrette Blount was still on the board, and in my opinion, this is where he should have gone. I don't see Tracy making much of an impact on the team in 2010 and beyond. I could be wrong, I hope I am, but I don't like this pick.
Round 7, Pick 14 - Matt Dodge, P - East Carolina - Grade B:
I cannot give a punter an A, sorry. When this pick first came in, I was wondering why the hell they took a punter. Then, the sad news broke that Jeff Feagles is retiring. This is the second ECU player the Giants drafted, and Dodge is bigger than Dillard, the MLB they drafted to replace AP. Good pick here.
Miscellaneous - Grade A+
The only reason why I give the Giants an A+ here is because they did not trade Osi. Osi missed all of 2008, and was just getting his feet under him in 2009. Osi will be back to the monster he was before his injury, and the Giants would have regretted ever moving him. Despite that, I am a little upset the Giants didn't bring in a veteran MLB by trading some picks. After drafting Rolando McClain, the Raiders sent Kirk Morrison to the Jags for a bag of peanuts. The Bears made it known that Brian Urlacher was available, but given his injury past he may have been too expensive. Jerry Reese was conservative like I expected, but maybe too conservative.
Overall - Grade B-:
Too consevative, and didn't address the big need at MLB. Pierre-Paul is an unknown, and the Giants will regret drafting Joseph over Sean Lee. The Giants got a steal with Jones in round 3, but other than that, I was not impressed. I give the Giants a B- and not the D they deserve because Jerry Reese has been great in all of his previous drafts. I hope that is the case here and we are not here writing and reading about the HUGE hole the Giants will have in the Middle of their defense.
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