By Michael Stewart
Throughout GM Jerry Reese tenure as the Giants GM, one thing has been very clear and that is Reese is very hard to read on what he would do on draft day. After finally making the playoffs in 2016, Reese must continue building on this success and its starts with the 2017 draft. With the draft roughly around the corner, GM Reese has been busy filling the roster through free agency with current players on the roster and also bringing in other players outside the organization.
Aside from re-signing lower tier players (LS-Zak DeOssie, RB-Orleans Darkwa, QB-Josh Johnson, QB-Geno Smith, LB-Mark Herzlich, LB_Kennan Robinson, De-Kerry Wynn, TE-Will Tye, TE-Matt LaCrosse, RB-Shaun draughn, CB-Valentino Blake & DT-Robert Thomas, Reese also re-signed OG-John Jerry (3 years/$10M) and signed DT-D.J Fluker (1 year/$3M) DE-Jason Pierre Paul (4 years/$66M), WR-Brandon Marshall (2 years/$11M), & TE-Rhett Ellison (4 years/$18M). Now what does this all mean in terms of which direction Reese will go in the draft? Absolutely nothing!
Despite addressing the OL, Reese still needs to consider drafting another OL; which should be in all likelihood an OT. Despite the re-signing of JPP and Wynn at a lesser extend; Reese should consider drafting another DE pass rusher. The same should be said for RB, TE, LB and DT; especially if Jonathan Hankins is not re-signed. Finally; the last position that needs to be considered by Reese in the draft is QB as Eli Manning’s possible replacement in a couple years.
That’s seven positions to consider for Reese with 7 picks in the draft (if no trades are made). Now history suggests that Reese has had a love affair with drafting CB during his tenure with the Giants, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he does select one this year; which would mean that one of the other positions mentioned would be excluded. With thousands of mock drafts projecting many options for the Giants to go; ranging from TE, OT, LB, RB and DE; it’s hard to really grasp which direction GM Jerry Reese will or should go. Should he go with BPA or Need? History suggests that Reese despite his claim of always drafting BPA in round 1; has done the opposite and drafted more 1st rounders during his tenure based on need.
So if we go by GM Jerry Reese history in the draft and believe he will follow that same blueprint in this draft, we can conclude that the following positions will most likely not be draft in round 1:
LB: Will the streak will continue (33 years since 1984-Carl Banks) that the Giants have not selected an LBer in the 1st round. If Reese does follow his blue print, then maybe he will look towards the later rounds. However; something tells me that maybe, just maybe the streak will end.
TE: It’s been 15 years since the Giants drafted a TE (Jeremy Shockey) in the 1st round and during GM Jerry Reese term; the earliest was in round 3 (Travis Beckum, 2009). Now there’s a slight chance that a TE is selected in round 1 as David Njoku has been linked to the Giants in many mock drafts.
DT: Even if Hankins isn’t re-signed, the odds of Reese selecting a DT in the 1st round are slim to none. Like the TE position, the depth of this year’s draft for DT is deep and a very talented DT can be found even on days 2 and/or 3.
QB: Despite many mock drafts having the Giants possibly selecting a QB in the 1st round, don’t bet on it. Reese has more important positions to focus on in round 1 and this year’s QB class has equal talent on either day 2 or 3.
Trade Up/Trade Back: The speculation of Reese either trading up or back in the 1st is always a possibility; although unlikely. Although Reese has traded up/back in previous drafts; it has never been in the 1st round. With that being said; these scenarios are possible; especially if it’s a prospect that’s rated extremely high on their board is still in play or if all of their 1st round targets have already been selected; perhaps trading out of the 1st round for additional picks would make more sense.
Final Thoughts: So where does that leave us? Which direction will Reese go in round 1? The remaining positions in play are OT, RB, CB & DE as all can be supported with solid reasons why Reese could select any of these positions in round 1. I have my theories on which direction Reese will go and to be honest, he is very hard to read. One thing is certain and that is that the 2017 draft has talent and depth throughout the draft and if Reese can choose wisely in each round; he could be building a team that will be a playoff contender for many years.
Next Article: Should the Giants trade back in Round 1?