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http://mvn.com/nfl-giants/2007/07/16/rookie-impact-2007/

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Giants Rookie Impact ‘07

By Hazem Kiswani | July 16th, 2007

 

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2006-12-30-ross.jpg Ross - USAtoday.com

 

The Giants didn’t make much of a splash this off-season in the free agent market, as they only acquired LB Kawika Mitchell from Kansas City, and some depth players on both sides of the line. However they did make a couple of trades to bring in a veteran kicker in Lawerence Tynes and a RB to spell Brandon Jacobs in Rueben Droughns. Arguably the most important part of the Giants off-season however, was the draft back in April. The Giants selected 8 players in the draft, and are hoping to get considerable contributions from at least half of their picks. But will they?

 

Here’s what I expect from the Giants rookie class of ‘07:

 

Aaron Ross, CB - Texas

 

As most readers know, I was not big on this pick back in April, and I still can’t say I am. However, the idea of having a corner that can create some turnovers and run back some kicks has grown on me since then. I still have some concerns about Ross lack of starting time in college, and the issues with his instincts and technique I talked about back in April and May, but while I don’t think he’ll ever be a true #1 corner, I do think he can make a contribution this season.

 

What to expect: He’ll make some exciting plays in the return game and move his way up the depth chart at corner. He’ll likely get the nickel spot by week five at the latest, and possibly get into the starting lineup in December. Expect 2 or 3 interceptions and better play by the end of the season, but also expect some frustrating games from the young man out of Texas.

 

DRAFTED - Top 20 pick.

 

THIS SEASON WILL PRODUCE LIKE - A 2nd-rounder.

 

Steve Smith, WR - USC

 

The Trojan was my favorite pick of the 2007 draft. A great route-runner with excellent hands, Smith is the type of receiver Eli Manning really needed to compliment the rest of the Giants weapons on offense. Smith will almost certainly be the Giants most productive rookie, and I fully expect him to beat out Sinorice Moss for the 3rd wideout position (that’s not to say Moss won’t get a lot of playing time, he’ll be figured in to every game) and make the Giants passing game a lot more consistent, especially on third downs.

 

What to expect: He’ll have 35-45 catches and two or three touchdowns. More importantly he’ll make it a lot tougher on defenses to key in on Toomer, Burress, and Shockey when he’s in the game. Looking down the line, I expect Smith to be the starter next to Burress in 2008.

 

DRAFTED - Bottom half of Round 2.

 

THIS SEASON WILL PRODUCE LIKE - Late first-round pick.

 

Jay Alford, DT - Penn State

 

You can certainly say that Alford was a reach in the third round, but it also tells you that the Giants have a specific role for the blue-collar player. Alford should get plenty of action in passing situations and put some interior pressure on the passer in 2007. He’ll contribute.

 

What to expect: A solid player for the D-Line rotation, and a guy who will bring some pressure up the middle - project 3-4 sacks. Don’t expect the guy to be much of a standout on D, just a guy who will quietly help the front four stay fresh.

 

DRAFTED - Third round

 

THIS SEASON WILL PRODUCE LIKE - Third round pick

 

Zak DeOssie, LB - Brown

 

DeOssie was a heck of a collegiate player, regardless of the level of competition he played against. He has the most upside of any of the picks after the second round, but his contribution this year will be little beyond special teams. Chase Blackburn and Gerris Wilkinson will probably both get more playing time on D as reserve LBs and DeOssie is a year away from any significant role on defense. However, he’ll be a solid special teams player and grow into a very good player learning from Antonio Pierce and the rest of the unit.

 

What to expect: A fierce competitor that could lead the special teams unit in tackles. His upside is big. He’ll see at least some playing time by the end of the season and go into 2008 as a solid option for the Giants at LB.

 

DRAFTED - Fourth round

 

THIS SEASON WILL PRODUCE LIKE - Fifth round pick

 

LATE ROUND PICKS

 

Expect Kevin Boss and Ahmad Bradshawto make the biggest contributions of the late rounders. Boss will make some redzone catches as a big target for Eli Manning inside the 20. Him and Shockey will be hard to handle together with Burress down there. Expect some touchdowns from the TE. Bradshaw should get in on passing downs and also get a few carries, playing the ’scat back’ role for the Giants. Adam Koets may make the 53-man roster as the 4th tackle, but it’s definitely not a sure thing that the Giants carry more than eight offensive lineman. He certainly has upside though with his good technique and ability to handle pass-rushers, and with some toughness and coaching could have a good shot to be a starter down the line. Again though, nothing is for sure with Koets. Michael Johnson is yet another upside pick, but I expect him to make the final roster this year and get some playing time for the G-Men. He’s very athletic, a good tackler, and a playmaker. Those are the symptoms of a starting NFL safety, so don’t be surprised if he’s a starter in the future, but not this season.

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Why I hated the Ross pick. Why do you waste a first rounder on a pr and career nickel.

And now we have more potential in the return game than ever before, so it was wasted on a nickel.

 

 

Ask the Miami Dolphins about that.

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