The New York Giants 2012 draft was a distinct departure from their previous two drafts in that they focused primarily on adding offensive skill players. In the last two drafts, the Giants selected 10 defensive players combined. In this one, they only selected two.
It also differed from their previous drafts in that many of the picks were “need” based rather than “value.” Obviously every pick can be valuable and every pick fulfills a certain need of the team, otherwise it wouldn’t be picked. However, in this draft, the Giants distinctly went for players who could fill holes that were created due to injury or free agency.
1. #32- David Wilson, RB (Virginia Tech)
This was a shock to many as it was thought Wilson had a second round grade. However Giants general manager Jerry Reese insisted that he was 2nd rated running back on their board, just behind Trent Richardson who went to the Browns, and surprisingly over Boise State RB Doug Martin, who went to Tampa Bay at #31.
Wilson had a fantastic season for the Hokies in 2011, running for 1,709 yards and averaging 5.9 YPC. Wilson is a RB in the mold of Ahmad Bradshaw. He isn’t especially big, standing at 5″11 and weighing only 205 pounds. However, he has great speed, runs with determination and isn’t afraid of contact. In fact, he shed a ton of contact in 2011, gaining 990 yards after contact, best in the NCAA.
There are some flaws with Wilson. He wasn’t much of a pass catcher at Virginia Tech, catching only 22 passes for 129 yards, and he also fumbled seven times for the Hokies in 2011.
In my view, it’s an odd pick since Wilson doesn’t really compliment Bradshaw the way Brandon Jacobs did. It’s also odd because the Giants have found plenty of success with late round running backs in the last seven years: Bradshaw went in the 7th round in 2007, Jacobs went in the fourth round in 2007, and even Derrick Ward was a guy signed off the Jets practice squad.
This was a reach pick for the Giants. Although Reese denies it, one can only wonder if Reese somewhat panicked after the Buccaneers traded up for Martin. The Giants would have been better off going with Stanford LT Jonathan Martin or Georgia G Cordy Glenn, which would have added some much needed talent to an O-line that was terrible in all facets of the game, including it’s run blocking, one of the reasons Bradshaw and Jacobs had such miserable seasons.
Draft grade: B
2. #63- Rueben Randle- WR (LSU)
At first, I really didn’t like this pick. Thinking about it more, I’ve come to think this was a great pick and great value as well.
Randle is a big receiver, standing in at 6″3 and weighing in at 210 pounds. He is not an especially fast receiver, but at LSU, he showed the ability to separate from corners and make plays down the field. Reese compared him to current Giant Hakeem Nicks, which is an apt description, especially after watching Randle highlights. Nicks is not a blazer, but he has made a ton of big plays during his Giants tenure and clearly showcased the ability to dominate games, especially during the playoffs.
Some will point to Randle’s relative lack of production in his final year at LSU, only catching 53 passes for 917 yards. This might be a concern if it weren’t for the fact that he had two awful QBs in Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson throwing to him during the season.
The Giants had a first round grade on Randle and they were able to land him at the very end of the second round, making it a great value pick.
The pick gives the Giants a clear replacement for the departed Mario Manningham on the outside, and it allows Victor Cruz to stay in the slot position where he excelled. Randle will likely be entered into a “competition” with Jerrel Jernigan and Ramses Barden, but he should win that fairly easily considering he has more natural talent than either. The pick also gives the Giants some insurance just in case either Cruz or Nicks leaves via free agency.
Draft grade: A
3. #94- Jayron Hosley- CB (Virginia Tech)
At this point, I thought the Giants were going to address O-line, but they surprised and went with a defensive back.
Hosley had a fantastic 2010 for the Hokies, intercepting nine passes, but that number dropped to three in 2011. Giants coach Tom Coughlin said this was because teams stopped throwing at him. He isn’t a very big corner at 5″10 and 178 pounds, but scouting reports suggest he has good instincts, is somewhat of a ballhawk and that he doesn’t play small.
Hosley’s stock fell a lot after he failed a drug test in February, so the Giants may feel as if they’re getting good value here. I don’t think they needed a corner this high though. They have Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas as starters, both who are above average when at their best. They have 1st rounder Prince Amukamura waiting in the wings who should develop after a full offseason. They also have Bruce Johnson, Michael Coe, Justin Tryon and Antwaun Molden as depth. Perhaps they envision him on special teams, but it’s hard to see how he’ll have any kind of impact in 2012.
This pick could have been better spent on Ohio State T Bobby Massie, or another area the Giants were not exactly blessed with depth in, like safety.
Draft grade: B-