If you ask a scout, GM or any personnel guy, they’ll tell you it takes about 3-4 years before you can truly give a grade for a draft class. Since it’s a bye week, and there’s not much else to do, lets take a look at the New York Giants 2008 NFL Draft Class.
Round 1 – S Kenny Phillips
Kenny Phillips has had solid career thus far as a member of the New York Giants. Just a few years ago it looked like Phillips was ready to be a top-flight safety. However, Phillips needed microfracture surgery. It’s been two years since the surgery and Phillips is playing top-level football again. The Giants can’t complain with this selection. Phillips’ wasn’t a top 10 pick; heck he wasn’t even a top 20 pick. He was the 31st selection. Not a bad snag there, no?
Round 1 Grade: B+
Round 2 – CB Terrell Thomas
The Giants drafted Thomas with the intention of slowly bringing him along. They thought he had the talent to become a reliable corner for them. He has been just that. Thomas led the Giants in tackles two years in a row and interceptions and was poised to have a breakout season this year. Thomas suffered a torn ACL this season, but has been nothing but reliable for Big Blue.
Round 2 Grade: A-
Round 3 – WR Mario Manningham
With WR Amani Toomer no longer with the team, the Giants were hoping Manningham could eventually develop into a weapon for QB Eli Manning. After struggling at first Manningham has become a reliable target for Eli Manning, snagging in 60 balls and nearly eclipsing 1,000 yards last year. Manningham, although inconsistent at times, has been a solid deep threat for Manning. In the third round, this was a terrific value selection looking back at it.
Round 3 Grade: A
Round 4 – LB Bryan Kehl
The Giants drafted Kehl with the intention of having him be a force on special teams and provide some depth at the outside linebacker positions. While Kehl was solid at times on special teams he never made much of an impact. The Giants, in hindsight, probably would have taken another player with this selection.
Round 4 Grade: C-
Round 5 – LB Jon Goff
The Giants saw Goff as a bit of a project player. They looked at Goff as a player with tremendous raw abilities who could eventually become a player down the road. A career-ending neck injury to LB — and captain — Antonio Pierce sent Goff into a starting role a bit early. Goff had a solid season last year, and wasn’t two bad two years ago, either. Goff, like CB Terrell Thomas, was poised for a breakout year. However, he too, suffered a torn ACL. Goff was a tremendous value selection for a 5th round pick. I’ll take a starting MLB for two years so far any day of the week in the 5th round.
Round 5 Grade: A
Round 6: Andre’ Woodson and Robert Henderson
The Giants are seemingly in the business of drafting a QB late in the draft and hoping to develop him into a solid backup for QB Eli Manning. It hasn’t worked thus far. Woodson bounced around on the practice squad but failed to make the roster. His throwing motion needed tons of corrections and in the end; he wasn’t good enough to even sniff the roster. The Giants took a flier on Henderson hoping he could eventually overtime become a situational pass-rusher. Henderson suffered an injury and spent his rookie season on injured reserve. In the end, Henderson was a flier who didn’t work out. Can’t hurt to take a chance with a 6th round compensation pick, can it? Can’t kill Reese for missing on a 6th rounder can you? I don’t.
Round 6 Grade: C
Final Grade: A-
The Giants had a pretty successful draft in 2008. They’ve produced reliable starters in rounds 1,2,3 and 5. Not bad. All high picks produced and they even got great play out of a late round draft pick in LB Jon Goff. First round draft choice S Kenny Phillips has been solid. Second round draft choice CB Terrell Thomas has been terrific. Third round selection WR Mario Manningham has been pretty darn good and 5th round selection LB Jon Goff has done everything they’ve asked from him and then some. Guys in this class are still producing at a high level. A solid draft for Giants GM Jerry Reese.