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Reese’s Last Hurrah?

Will this be Jerry Reese’s last draft as Giants GM?

Because of his inability to stock the Giants roster with quality draft picks,  Giants GM Jerry Reese has used free agency to acquire players. Last year’s success had much to do with Reese’s gambit of signing defensive standouts Snacks Harrison, Olivier Vernon, and Janoris Jenkins. Couple this with the coaching of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and the play of second year safety Landon Collins, the Giants won because of their defense. The play of the defense snapped three horrendous losing seasons and carried the Giants to a 11-5 record and a wild card playoff berth. Although the defense played well in the first 27 minutes of the game against the Packers in the playoffs; unfortunately, it was the Giants offense that never flourished throughout the 2016 season, which made Reese recognize the need to upgrade. With the stroke of his pen, he got busy with the following free agency signings:

WR Brandon Marshall

RB Shane Vereen

G John Jerry

G/T DJ Fluker

TE/FB Rhett Ellison

Reese has more to do as the draft approaches this Thursday. Here at the New York Giants Underground, we believe the Giants will draft a TE with their first-round selection. Since Eli Manning is in the twilight of his career, Reese has to give him a weapon at TE. The way the TE position has evolved over the years, it is crucial to have a very good player there in order to create mismatches with opposing defenses. With a quality TE,  this would make OBJ and Brandon Marshall more dangerous. We like Alabama TE OJ Howard. Since he is the best TE in this year’s draft, he will not be around when the Giants draft at 23.  It is our judgment that Reese should trade up to get this guy. Why?   He will make a difference. He can run good pass routes, has good hands and most importantly, he can block.

We are also hearing the Giants are interested in Miami TE David Njoku. The only knock on him is his suspect blocking, but this could be the reason they signed Ellison. Stay tuned.

Getting back to Reese on his shaky drafting, let us examine the Giants’ current roster and see how many players remain from the 2011 Super Bowl win.

2011- No players

2012- No players

2013- Justin Pugh,  Ryan Nassib- According to reports, Nassib is on his way out

2014- OBJ, Weston Richburg, Jay Bromley,  Nat Berhe, Devon Kennard

2015- Ereck Flowers, Landon Collins, Double O, Mykkele Thompson,  Bobby Hart

2016- Eli Apple, Sterling Shepard, Darian Thompson, BJ Goodson,  Paul Perkins, Jerrell Adams

The good news is the last three drafts have produced players who have contributed and done well. The bad news is from 2011 to 2013, there is only one quality player remaining in Justin Pugh.

As Pete pointed out in his post, this draft is very thin.  Not many players who will make a difference. The Giants will not find a replacement for DT Johnathan Hankins in this draft. Let us hope Jay Bromley is ready to start this year at DT.

Other thoughts:

This draft has plenty of defensive backs, and the Giants will use a pick for one. If we look at the ending of the season against the Packers, once DRC went out of the game with an injury, the Giants secondary was not the same. Eli Apple struggled to cover the Packers’ receivers. As we have stated here, you can bust up the Giants’ secondary by throwing  deep outs, corner routes and post patterns. Without question, the Giants need to add another cornerback to bolster their defensive backfield.

Up until the playoff game, the Giants special teams played well. After watching the play of Bobby Rainey and Dwayne Harris, the Giants need to add quality players to improve special teams. Look for the Giants to do this in the later rounds.

With the Giants playing a tougher schedule in 2017, Reese needs to add quality players to improve on their 2016 performance.

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Author:

New York Football Giants blogger since 2007. Appeared on ESPN radio, New York Times, Long Island sports talk 1240 am.

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