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Interesting take on the Giants draft


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Big Blug Blog by Micheal Waxenberg


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Draft


Reader mail has been running about 2-to-1 against Mathias Kiwanuka. The disgruntlement is understandable, considering the logjam at defensive end. My initial reaction to the pick reflected the prevailing sentiment: "Huh?" By Sunday afternoon, though, I was very satisfied with the Giants' draft. Here's why.


First of all, I should disclose a few of my underlying assumptions. If you disagree with them, fine. I don't think they're especially controversial:


1) Kiwanuka was the highest-rated player on the Giants' board at #25.

2) Chad Jackson has little chance of being the next Torry Holt.

3) Sinorice Moss has a slightly better chance of being the next Steve Smith, or at least the next Az Hakim.

4) Luke Petitgout is, at worst, an average NFL left tackle.

5) The Draft is a lousy way to fill urgent needs.

6) There is a significant risk that Michael Strahan will retire or decline significantly by 2008.

7) Justin Tuck has not yet earned a bust in Canton.


The Giants entered the 2006 draft with at least five "priority" positions, spots where they would give a player preference because a need existed or might exist by 2007. Those positions were nose tackle, cornerback, wide receiver, linebacker and left offensive tackle. One goal, clearly, was to add at least a long-term option at each of those positions. The Giants, like most draftniks, deemed the Class of 2006 to be about four rounds deep in most of those areas.


The problem, as they went on the clock in the first round, was that no player at any of those positions was worth the 25th pick. And with only five selections in the first six rounds, a "non-need" pick would mean neglecting at least one "need" position until late on Sunday.


Then came the trade-down, which changed everything. That one move was the key to the Giants' whole draft because it afforded them two huge luxuries: a non-need pick at #32 and, ultimately, the trade-up for Sinorice Moss at #44.


The trade with Pittsburgh added two picks - not premium picks, but sufficiently early to help with the checklist of needs. The Giants now had seven selections in the first five rounds, and six in the first four. That meant they could take Kiwanuka and still hit all five priorities by round four. Huge change.


The next big decision came twelve picks into the second round. The Giants, who had considered Moss at #25 and #32, couldn't resist him at #44. Trading up for Moss would have been much more painful - perhaps impossible - without the extra picks from the Pittsburgh deal. Kiwanuka, Moss, and a few day-two picks would have represented slim pickings from a need-fulfilment standpoint. But with the extra picks, the Giants could snag Moss - a need and, at 44, their BPA - and still hit most of the hot spots by round four.


The price for Moss wasn't low; to begin with, giving Baltimore their own third rounder rather than Pittsburgh's may have been a bit generous. Considering the team's enthusiasm for Moss and the way he fits the hole in the slot, the value proposition was OK. Perhaps the extra third-round pick would have yielded a better nose tackle than Barry Cofield. In any case, Gerris Wilkinson was the primary third-round target. The Giants would probably have taken him at #87; they got him at #96, filling another need.


In addition to the one-round delay at DT, the Moss trade forced the Giants to wait until round five before hitting the the last hot spot, defensive back, by which point the cornerback position was badly depleted. Perhaps Charlie Peprah, Gerrick McPhearson or the undrafted E.J. Underwood will crash the party in the secondary. If not, there's enough talent to hold the fort until next year.


So here's my view of the draft. The Giants got a player they think has Simeon Rice-type potential, and still managed to adequately bolster their positions of weakness. Together with Tuck, Kiwanuka gives the Giants the flexibility to manage Strahan's decline and survive an injury to Osi Umenyiora. If the top pick was DE overkill, that complaint is offset by the extra value extracted through the trade with Pittsburgh. The Giants leveraged their picks well, adding explosiveness and depth on both sides of the ball.


Would I have liked a shutdown corner or an all-world two-gap DT? Sure. It wasn't hapening at #25. What did happen was pretty good - maybe even better.

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Excellent post.


Just my .02 but without the tradeback I think we take Moss at the 25th pick.


Given how things shook out, I like reality better.


I think the best point he made was that the Giants were not getting a shutdown corner or an awesome 2-gap DT at pick 25. When you look at the way the Giants handled the draft (within the context of managing team needs) after that reality became evident, you can't really fault them for sticking to their board and taking the BPA.

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I think everyone loved the trade down with Pittsburgh, but I still would have leaned towards LB in the first (would've gone DT, but there were clearly none valuable enough for 25 or 32). I'm no GM, so I'll sit back and see how it all goes down.

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So basically it's taken you guys 2 weeks to finally warm to the "Kiwi and Pee-Wee draft of 2006".


I'm glad people are finally seeing the light. :clap:


Kiwi and Pee Wee. I like that. :TU:


I wouldn't say that I have completely warmed up to it, although your constant reassurance reminds of April 2004, when you talked me off the ledge and convinced me not to murder my neighbors...

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Kiwi and Pee Wee. I like that. :TU:


I wouldn't say that I have completely warmed up to it, although your constant reassurance reminds of April 2004, when you talked me off the ledge and convinced me not to murder my neighbors...


Wow ... I didn't know the neighbors were at risk. By chance are they Eagles fans? If so, the Eli Manning trade was horrible. Imagine Shawn Merriman in Giants blue. Where do you keep sharp knives? I'm pretty sure the back door is unlocked. Oh look, the porch light is out too!

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EA will be leaving us in better shape than he got us, plus he got us to one SB (so far), won one NFCCG, and helped secure some new heritage players with us (like Tiki) so that they ended their careers as Giants.


This draft was well played and I don't know that I call EA visionary, but he does has a plan and it was well executed.



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