The draft is art, science and luck. Many times the best players come from the middle rounds. There are always embarrassments made by some organizations that are hard to understand. As much as you look at a player’s stats, talk to his coaches and teammates, his parents, his relatives and/or his teachers there is usually important information that slips through the cracks. The money is so huge that many teams would love to trade down but at $30 million plus any pick is a huge gamble. The PLAYERS IN THE MIDDLE AND BOTTOM OF THE FIRST ROUND ARE ALL GETTING BIG BUCKS.
When you talk about the top 25 you start at $30 million and the team picking 15th may still have to pay in the high single digits to $10-15 million. The whole draft system should be overhauled so that performance has something to do with money. I submit Reggie Bush, JaMarcus Russell, Harvey out of Florida and others as signings done under the influence of something and the results speak for themselves. Matt Leinart was shocked that he slid in the first round but those who questioned his attitude, skills, maturity and upside were right and at the moment he is a grossly overpaid reserve. There are many of these and an organization and scouting system are charged with finding out who is the real deal and who is a disaster. Sanchez of the Jets looks like a chance that has worked out although he got in the $20’s guaranteed and no one really knew what they were getting. I live in Atlanta and could not understand the Stafford selection based on my own observance of his play and upside. He was a workmanlike quarterback on a perennially loaded team whose leadership and god given ability were big question marks to me. Detroit, in desperate need at QB, took the plunge.. which isn’t saying much, as their draft record over the last 10 years has been on par with the Raiders and a few others that are shockingly bad.
My job will be to attempt to explain who I think is the real deal and why. I have already identified 3 players who I believe may be there when the Giants draft and should help the team for a decade. It’s just a work up at this point and as things become more clear with the combine and some digging we can collectively pick a Giant draft. There is always more than one man at a position of need and we can talk about that. The good news is that there will be a quality player availableto us with the 15th pick. There are players at our NEED positions that will be there and all of it will change over the coming few months. It will matter who the Giants let go and who else they fire and the systems and schemes they will run. It’s much too early to know much yet other than to discuss some possibilities which we can narrow down during the process.
This is an inexact science, so the goal is for us to get it right more than we get it wrong. Andy’s numbers say the average draft nets two players… let’s see if we can get three out of seven. The latter rounds are the hardest because the players are less known and judging them takes more than anyone could know absolutely. It’s fun and maybe Reese will do the job he did in ’07. Right now I am focused in on a linebacker from Alabama as an exceptional player who very well may be there. We’ll talk about him soon.
A few names that might be or should be available when Big Blue picks… It’s very early and we all know there will be some action this year. There are several teams that need a quarterback big time which may surprise a lot of people when the Rams, Lions and others do something we don’t expect. The concensus #1 is Suh, the big tough dominant player out of Nebraska. Here’s a curve for you. The people I talk to, the tape I have seen and the research I am doing says that Jimmy Clausen is the best QB in this draft. I am honestly not sure the guy will be a difference maker at this level but a lot of smart people do. The Rams need a qurterback desperately and they just might go for Clausen #1. You can’t win in this league without a quarterback who is at least good. Spags knows it, we know it, everyone knows it. So, will the Lions grab Suh at #2? I say yes if they have the bucks.
The players I have targeted for the Giants so far who should absolutely help this team are #1Rolando McClain. A man amongst boys who was the leader on a very good Alabama defense. He is surprisingly quick, he is a very good hitter, he is clean, a leader and he can play the middle or outside. He might not be there but there is a better than even chance we will get a shot. #2 is Brian Price out of U.C.L.A. He is rated the 3rd best DT by most but he had some pretty amazing stats. He had 23.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, weighs 300 plus and has a motor. He played for a very mediocre team in a tough league and was dominant. #3 would be Joe Haden out of Florida. 5 players are leaving the program and Haden carries “shut down corner” as a rep. We can use one of them huh? The skinny on Travis Mays is all over the place. I have seen him rated from top 10 to mid second round. He can hit, he likes to hit but he can’t cover. He is a tweener who actually may end up as a linebacker. He is 225 pds so, he would have to really bulk up but there is no doubt that he is a player.
So, it begins. I will be dong this right up until the draft and please keep in mind that it is really early and a million things can and will happen between now and late April. Who becomes our D.C. and what he runs will matter and the game is on.