So, the three day draft extravaganza is over. For the record, I enjoyed the new format. I’ve always loved the draft, so to have an extra day is quite nice. But, we’re not here to talk about the new format, we’re to talk about the Giants. The Giants had 7 picks, and spent most of their time on the defensive side of the ball. What did I think? Did the Giants get better? Here are some Next Day Thoughts, draft style.
-Jason Pierre-Paul will either be boom or bust. Simple as that. The good thing is that they don’t have a pressing need at defensive end–if he fails, it won’t be the end of the world. Pierre-Paul has all the ability. He’s a hard worker. He needs to be coached up, because he doesn’t really have an array of pass rush moves. He basically blows by people. Which is fine in college, but not in the NFL. I’ve been watching tape of him, and there are some plays that make you go “Wow!”. Some took my breath away. He has that kind of ability. He is the best pure pass rusher to come out since Mario Williams. I think if JPP stayed another year and was the same type of player, he would be a top 5 pick. I think he’s that good. I just don’t know if he’ll be able to translate that to the NFL. That’s the question in my mind. I don’t know what his impact will be this year. I don’t think it will be much. He has to develop pass rush moves. He has to get stronger in the run game. But, as a situational pass rusher, a 3rd down guy, he could have an impact. He won’t start. But, the good thing is he won’t have to. Think about the classic boom or bust guys. Why do some of them bust? Two reasons: They are played before they are ready, or they have character issues. JPP doesn’t have to play before he’s ready, and he doesn’t have character issues. That gives me hope.
-Linval Joseph is a hell of a player, and I thought he would be a late first round pick. He’s huge. 6-4, 330. Can hold up at the point of attack. Can free up linebackers to make plays. If he didn’t come out early (he did because Skip Holtz left ECU to go to South Florida), he would be an early to mid first round pick. Really talented. You may not like the pick because they passed on Sean Lee and Brandon Spikes. But, Joseph is worth it. Could become a starter right away. I always thought the Giants needed a run stopping defensive tackle. That’s what Joseph is. I think he’ll make a huge impact right away.
-Chad Jones is an interesting pick, because it could have some ramifications. If Kenny Phillips is healthy, it probably means the end of the Michael Johnson era. If KP is not healthy, than Chad Jones will have to play a major role. Does the pick mean that Phillips isn’t as healthy as we all think? Or is it just depth? I don’t know, and time will tell. But, as a player, Jones has all the physical tools. He’s a bit raw, but he’s tremendously athletic, and played baseball while at LSU. He can contribute right away as a kick returner, and as a gunner on special teams. His biggest contribution in his rookie year will be on special teams. He could be a special teams demon.
-Phillip Dillard has all the tools to become a starting middle linebacker, even this year. Some will say he benefited from playing behind Ndamukong Suh, and that may be, but he made plays when they where there. Sideline to sideline range, three down ability. Powerful tackler. A bit short, but in the Giants defense, it may not matter. He probably fell because of injury concerns, but Dillard is a really good player. I think he could start this year. He’ll compete with Jon Goff and Gerris Wilkinson. I think Dillard has a really good chance to beat those guys out. Look, the Giants re-dedicated themselves to the defensive line. If they can get the pressure we expect, putting Dillard out there will be much easier to swallow.
-Mitch Petrus is a pick I really like. Big, strong guy. More of a guard, but could play right tackle in a pinch. He excels in the run game. Frankly, he fell because he isn’t a great pass blocker yet, but he does have potential. I think Petrus is a future starter at guard. We could see an offensive line that has Will Beatty at left tackle, Petrus at left guard, Shaun O’Hara at center, Chris Snee at right guard, and David Diehl at right tackle, and we could see that line very, very soon. Petrus could end up being a steal.
-Adrian Tracy reminds me a lot of Clint Sintim. He has to adjust to the level of competition, which may make him only a special teams contributor. But, as a pass rusher from the SAM spot, he could have a nice impact. Don’t know how he’ll do in coverage, but as a pass rusher, he could be okay.
-Matt Dodge is the punter of the future, and maybe the present, if Jeff Feagles does in fact retire. I have a hard time scouting punters, because it seems like the best punters come out of nowhere. Dodge seemingly has a good leg, but is a bit slow in getting punts off. I think that can be coached. He’ll compete with Jy Bond if Feagles does retire.
-Overall, I like the draft. A lot of this rides on how well Jason Pierre-Paul does, and how Phillip Dillard does, but from a talent standpoint, they have a lot of talent. If JPP becomes the next great pass rusher, and Phillip Dillard can become a starter, this draft is a home run. If not, Linval Joseph and Chad Jones could be the class of the draft. I think it’s a good draft. I would have preferred Rolando McClain, but he was taken. Can’t do anything about that. But, JPP, if he lives up to that potential, the Giants pass rusher is almost unfair. The Giants have a great offense. They addressed needs at defense. I wouldn’t have minded some depth at corner, though. But, they addressed needs at defense, and if they hit, this is a Super Bowl contender.