Don’t Judge Giants’ Draft By Rookie Mini-Camp

2-Day Camp Gives Little Indication of What Lies Ahead

There has been quite a bit bit of grumbling on the net about the Giants’ latest draft class being a weak group.

Some say GM Jerry Reese is leaving too much to chance by taking players with so little football experience.

Others believe the Giants will pay a steep price for passing on such linebackers as Sean Weatherspoon, Sean Lee, Daryl Washington and Donald Butler in favor of defensive lineman they don’t need.  Now, there are the rumors of how badly the team’s rookie camp went, as few players distinguished themselves.

All of these are legitimate gripes, and all can be explained away, but the facts are no one will have real answers for awhile.  The ideal strategy is to draft players for the next season, not the current one in front of you.  That would mean the Giants’ MLB conundrum will be resolved from a group of existing players, none of whom tickles the Giant fans’ fancy.

I wish people would stop calling JPP a bust. First off, it is way too early in the process to evaluate anyone. Second, he is in shape, regardless of what anyone thinks or says.  I was there when the back twinge sent him to his knees and I was there when he explained what happened.  The coaches did not chide him, they supported him. So should the fans. He will be fine.  The only group that should be worried about JPP are opposing quarterbacks.

You also had to be there to see that three other draftees conducted themselves like veterans. Linval Joseph, Phillip Dillard and Mitch Petrus all need refining, but they will be good pros. All three have the qualities to make it in the NFL.

The only player that still intrigues us all is this Chad Jones (pictured), known at LSU as the “Dreadlocks of Doom”. He flew around in practice, but looked a bit lost. The main reason is that everyone was in shells, so there was no contact. Excessive contact is Jones’ forte.

Tom Coughlin also said publicly that Jones was “a little heavy”, but by that he meant only 5-8 lbs overweight. Jones talked mainly of his baseball exploits because he spent as much time playing that as he did football. Jones has tons of upside: he has good hands and is very physical.

Being an NFL rookie is a difficult job.  It is newness after newness.  There’s so much to be learned and absorbed in such a short window of time.

Rookie mini-camp is basically to acclimate the draftees and signed free-agents into the NFL.  It indoctrinates them into the team’s way of doing things.

Camp also gets the rookies familiar with the basics: the team language and acronyms; the facilities and the surrounding area; team coaches, players, employees and officials; team and league rules etc etc etc….

This past weekend was just a beginning. As time rolls on, you can begin to make your judgments and assessments of this group.

Right now, it’s way too early in the game for that.