I don't know if you can view a 10-6 record as a disappointment, but I am pretty sure most New York Giants fans did last season. They missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season and went 4-4 down the stretch.
It is obvious that the Giants needed to get upgrades at some key positions, and they did that during the draft. First, by finding value at a need position in Prince Amukamara with the 19th pick, then being able to grab a player like Tyler Sash (who I had in my top 50), in the 6th round. In between, the Giants did themselves well by adding players that should contribute immediately.
In New York, anything less than a playoff appearance and Super Bowl contention is not going to cut it. I think the Giants moved themselves further a long those lines than any team in the NFC East during this draft.
After the jump, I will breakdown each draft pick.
1st Round, 19th Pick: CB- Prince Amukamara Nebraska
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 6 2010 Stats: 59 Tackles, 1 Sack, 0 INT
Analysis: I am not sure exactly why Amukamara fell all the way to 19 in the draft; it makes no sense to me. It is hard to find a weakness when it comes to this shutdown corner. Opponents just decided not even to throw the ball his way in 2010. With exception of the Nebraska game, where Niles Paul caught 9 passes; Amukamara was one of the best cover corners in college football, right up there with Patrick Peterson.
Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross are okay corners, but none of them have #1 coverage ability; Prince Amukamara does. Not only did the Giants get great value with this pick; they got a player at a need position. I look for the Prince to come right in and be their #1 cover guy immediately. Grade: A+
2nd Round, 52nd Pick: DL- Marvin Austin North Carolina
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 39 2009 Stats: 42 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble (Suspended in 2010)
Analysis: I wasn't that high on Marvin Austin; mostly due to character concerns. However, the Senior Bowl changed my perception of him. If it wasn't for a suspension that cost him the 2010 season, it is likely that Austin would have been a top 15 pick.
Despite being pretty solid in the front four the Giants did need an upgrade on the interior of their defensive line. Chris Canty never really panned out as a free agent signing from the rival Dallas Cowboys a couple off-seasons ago, and Rocky Benard hasn't impressed anyone in recent years. The Giants got a player with tremendous talent that should be able to contribute immediately in the 2nd round. Grade: A
3rd Round, 83rd Pick: WR- Jerrel Jernigan Troy
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 61 2010 Stats: 84 Receptions, 824 Yards, 322 Rush Yards, 9 TD
Analysis: The Giants decided to go small here in the 3rd round at wide receiver with the possibility that Steve Smith will not be back in 2011. They do have Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks slotted in at the starting receiver positions, but could use another deep threat for Eli Manning.
Jernigan ran a 4.46 forty yard dash and has the ability to be explosive in the slot. He has solid hands and gets good separation when running routes. The fact that he played at Troy, probably not against top of the line competition, may impede Jernigan's progress; but, he clearly has the talent to succeed in the NFL. This is just another tool for the Giants offense. However, I may have gone with Greg Salas or Edmund Gates III here, but the Giants for looking at a particular player and cannot be faulted for that Grade: A-
4th Round, 117th Pick: OT- James Brewer Indiana
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 92
Analysis: An overall solid offensive linemen in the mold of players the Giants have taking at this position in the past. They tend to go with physical, all be it, not extremely talented offensive linemen. It has worked out well in the past with Chris Snee, Rich Seubert and David Diehl. I believe the got the same thing in Brewer.
He has strong upper body strength and can beat defenders at the moment of impact. What you will see in him is the ability to get extended on blocks up the middle opening up holes for the running backs. That said, he does seem to get a little high, which could cause problems with outside pass rushers. That said, Brewer will not be asked to come in and start immediately, instead he will learn from a veteran starting group. Grade: A
6th Round, 185th Pick: LB- Greg Jones Michigan State
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 142 2010 Stats: 105 Tackles, 1 Sack, 3 Forced Fumbles, 2 INT
Analysis: This guy reminds me a lot of former 49ers, Lee Woodall and Jamie Winborn, he isn't the biggest player; but plays real big. It doesn't seem like he has the ideal size to play inside linebacker in the NFL, but his strength is the fact that he plays like it.
Jones does get out of position at times taking himself completely out of the play. Sometimes, he overreacts to perceived offensive formations and loses ground in regards to that. Before the 2010 season Jones was projected to be either a 1st or 2nd round pick, but a lackluster 2010 season caused his stock to drop. The Giants got real good value in the 6th round here Grade: A
6th Round, 198th Pick: S- Tyler Sash Iowa
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 77 2010 Stats: 79 Tackles, 2 INT, 1 TD
Analysis: As evidence by CBS Sports Line ranking, the Giants got great value in Tyler Sash; at need position as well. New York's secondary has been horrible in recent years, so they needed to add playmakers in the draft. In Sash they get someone that will contribute on special teams immediately because of his athletics ability.
Sash has great instincts and awareness in the defensive backfield and has been known to make game changing plays. He is a ball hawk that covers extremely well and understands defensive schemes. Development will be key, but I think the Giants may have got one of the best values in the draft here. Grade: A+
6th Round, 202nd Pick: LB- Jacquian Williams South Florida
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 432 2010 Stats: N/A
Analysis: Do not know much about him and was unable to find game film, so I will reserve judgment in regards to Williams. Grade: INC
7th Round, 221st Pick: RB- De'Rel Scott Maryland
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 225 2010 Stats: 708 Yards, 5.8 AVG, 8 TD
Analysis: Scott's value in the draft plunged a great deal over the last calender year and there are extensive reasons for this. He has had three major injuries over the course of the last three seasons, has an issue with ball security and struggled blocking as well in short yard situations.
That said, the talent is there. Scott has really good hands out of the backfield and hits holes really quick. He is extremely solid inside the tackles and has a nice amount of power to break off of tackles. Overall, Scott is what you are looking for in a 7th round pick Grade: A
Synopsis: In case you didn't notice, I think that the New York Giants had one of the best drafts of any team in the NFL. Not only did they address multiple needs, the Giants found value with nearly every pick. This is a team that went 10-6, so they weren't drafting in the top half of the 1st round. However, in my opinion they acquired three of the top 50 players in the draft: Prince Amukamara, Marvin Austin and Tyler Sash.
Adding Prince Amukamara and Tyler Sash to the defensive backfield will make the Giants defense much better in 2011. I don't think that either should struggle transitioning to the NFL either, making their immediate impact that much greater.
Amukamara will push the Giants corners down a spot moving into the 2011 season, this trickle down effect will help this secondary blend better. Terrell Thomas will be the #2 corner, moving Webster to the nickel slot and making Aaron Ross expandable during training camp.
In regards to Tyler Sash, he probably won't be starting immediately. Instead, you are going to see the Giants take their time with this physically gifted player. At some point, I envision Kenny Phillips moving over to the free safety position and Sash taking over on the strong side. Of course that could all change because of the enormous contract the Giants gave to Antrel Role.
I do believe that Marvin Austin may have the most immediate impact of any Giant player outside of Prince. He should come in and team up with Barry Coefield (if he returns) immediately. That would give New York one hell of a defensive line with Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and the raw Jason-Pierre Paul.
The other draft picks were used for depth, but figure to be solid contributors moving forward. If Steve Smith does leave, Jernigan could immediately take over in the slot and team up with Manningham and Nicks. This would give the Giants three ultra talented young receivers.
Overall, I don't think the Giants could have done any better with the position in which they were drafting in every round. Extremely solid, if not great draft. Final Grade: A+