Giants' Picks Appear to be More Strategic
The 2013 NFL Draft held last week at Radio City Music Hall further revealed the differences between the direction of the New York Giants and the New York Jets. For the Giants, they continue to show an organization that has been a model of consistency on and off the field (with the exception of the Plaxico Burress fiasco), while the New York Jets continue to be a dysfunctional group from the owner to the head coach and it's players. The new General Manager John Idzik is trying to change the direction of the team so he can't be judged at this stage. Suffice it to say though, the moves he's made up to this point has all the making of adding to the soap opera atmosphere.
Two years ago, the New York Giants won its second Super Bowl under head coach Tom Coughlin. Last year, they failed to make the playoffs. Looking to shore up its offensive line, General Manager Jerry Reese took Justin Pugh the 6-4, 301lbs offensive lineman from Syracuse University with its first pick hoping not only to protect Eli Manning but to improve the team's running game. Reese then got defensive with his next two picks taking Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins 6-2, 320lbs and defensive end/linebacker Damontre' Moore Texas A & M 6-5, 250lbs. Moore does come with some baggage, as he was arrested in 2011 for marijuana possession. Reese is hoping his age (21) and playing with veterans will enable him to excel in putting pressure on opposing QB's. With Manning having a relatively healthy career, Reese raised eyebrows by using its 4th pick to take QB Ryan Nassib another 'Cuse alumn. Reese compared him to Andy Dalton and says Nassib has the "it" factor. At 6-2, 227lbs Nassib led the Orangemen to a 8-5 record and defeated Geno Smith (more on him later) in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Two of the last three draft picks were on offense with guard Eric Herman 6-4, 320lbs from Ohio and running back Michael Cox 6-1, 214 lbs from UMass. Reese is hoping he can be a sleeper as scouts like his size and are impressed with him catching the ball out of the backfield. The last defensive pick was Richmond's safety Cooper Taylor 6-4, 228lbs who comes to the team with health issues including a knee injury in 2011 and a pec tear in 2012. His size intrigued Reese as he could also be used in a linebacker role.
Said Reese, "I can envision him on special teams with that size and speed."
The New York Jets drafted Mark Sanchez four years ago and he immediately proceeded to take them to within one game of the Super Bowl in his first two years. The "Sanchize" was thought to be a Jet for the rest of his career. The last two years has turned into a recurring nightmare for him and the team. They have missed the playoffs the last two years as the roster has been turned into a virtual minor league team due to injuries and trades. Most recently the trade of the best cornerback in the league in Darrelle Revis. The Tim Tebow experiment was a total bust and his saga ended Monday when he was released by the team. That said, Idzik took 6 of 8 offensive players hoping that whoever is under center will be able to get the team in the end zone. A place they hardly saw all of last season.
The Jets began its draft night by taking CB Dee Milliner replacing Revis and hoping he can be at least half the player Revis is. That may be possible as Revis is coming off major knee surgery. Milliner, 6-0, 201lbs from Alabama will have a tremendous amount of pressure on him especially if Revis comes back strong with his new team Tampa Bay. At 6-3, 294lbs, Sheldon Richardson from Missouri was taken as their second pick. The defensive lineman has been touted as a effective run stopper. The Jets next six picks were all on the offensive side of the ball. The team had Radio City buzzing when they selected QB Geno Smith 6-3, 218lbs from West Virginia. Smith is now part of a QB roster that includes Sanchez, newly signed free agent David Garrard, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms. Sanchez will clearly have to show signs of his first two years if he wants to be the starter when the season begins. At least Sanchez will not have the circus that was Tebow around him. Whoever is under center, they will be hoping that the final draft choices will lead to a effective passing and running game. Offensive guard Brian Winters 6-4, 320lbs from Kent State, offensive tackle Oday Aboushi 6-6, 310lbs from Virginia and offensive lineman William Campbell 6-6, 310 from Michigan rounded out the picks. How they handle the transition from the college game to the pros will remain to be seen. The Jets like Aboushi's versatility and although listed as a OL, Campbell is expected to be switched to the defensive side of the ball. Trading with New Orleans, the Jets picked up four-year veteran running back Chris Ivory. Idzik likes the fact that Ivory is a "physical runner" who has size and speed. Ivory will be looking to take over from the often injured Shonn Greene who was not retained by the team after declaring for free agency.
The 2014 Super Bowl will take place at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey the home shared by both the Giants and the Jets. No home team hosting the game has ever played in the game. By the recent actions of both organizations, one team, the New York Giants has a better chance of getting to the big game. Unfortunately for the New York Jets, they will be lucky to finish the year with a decent record. The Giants have to deal with the re-signing of wide receiver Victor Cruz which could affect how successful they could be. The Jets, aside from the quarterback issues, are also dealing with Santonio Holmes coming back from a major injury and not having a possession receiver.
Training camp for both teams are going to reveal so much more than their draft picks.