Draftniks Don’t Understand Giants Draft Philosophy

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

Reading all of this conjecture on the net about who the Giants will draft this spring and what they need in this draft to improve their roster has my head spinning.

I think most “prognosticators” forget that these are the Giants, a team that builds through the draft, not one who relies on plugging current holes through it. I’m getting frustrated with the public perception that the Giants’ top selections will hit the field with the starters come opening day.

The biggest need for the Giants according to pundits are: OT, LB, DT, CB. Chances are they ignore one or more of these needs in April’s draft, sticking to GM Jerry Reese’s mantra to select the best available player on his board.

When was the last time the Giants drafted an offensive lineman and allowed him to start as a rookie? Especially a left tackle? The answer: Will Beatty started four games in 2009 and that was at RT for an injured Kareem McKenzie.

At #19 the Giants will be looking at a solid player, but will they take a building block or a turnkey starter? With the Giants, you never know. So why is everyone assuming they will fill needs through the draft?

Why did they take TE Adrien Robinson in the fourth round last year, when it appeared they could have gotten him either later in the draft, or as a UDFA? Got me. The kid was nowhere near ready for the NFL. We’re not even even sure he’s ready a year later.

Plain and simple, the Giants have their draft board. They take players they believe will fit into their program. That does not necessarily mean the player will produce Day One. There is no set timetable for development. Just listen to Tom Coughlin, who from time to time drops hints as to how a player is coming along.

Out of the 250-plus players taken each April in the draft, how many actually turn a profit as a rookie? Not too many. Especially with the Giants, who make a practice of trying not to throw their rookies to the wolves unless they are out of options.

I know predicting the draft is a cottage industry for some and fun for millions, but count the Giants out when it comes to satisfying immediate needs this April. I see them drafting players at the need positions, but I also see some FAs and UDFAs being brought in as well.