Grade : B+
Round 1 – Odell Beckham Jr WR
Round 2 – Weston Richburg C
Round 3 – Jay Bromley DT
Round 4 – Andre Williams RB
Round 5 – Nat Berhe S
Round 5 – Devon Kennard OLB
Round 6 – Bennett Jackson CB
The Giants missed out on the 2013 playoffs after going 7-9 in a disappointing season. The biggest disappointment of the season though was the poor form of QB Eli Manning as he threw a jaw-dropping 27 interceptions going for a 69.4 passer rating; that ranks as his
The good news for Manning fans is that the highlight picks of this year's draft are designed to help get the two-time Superbowl winning QB get back to his best.
The first round, number 12 pick of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr was certainly selected with Manning in mind. The Giants needed to give Eli Manning a new target and this new target needed to possess the speed to stretch defenses opening up holes for Hackeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to exploit. Beckham will certainly do this.
He is also more than capable of making plays on his own. Last season the LSU alum caught 59 passes for 1,152 yards with eight touchdowns. Even better though he is also a huge special teams threat able to make big yards as a returner. He even managed to return a missed field goal for a TD.
A big reason for Eli Manning's 2013 struggles was the offensive line that was protecting him. Other than rookie tackle Justin Pugh nobody on the Giants offensive line stood out for good reasons in 2013. By drafting the best center in the draft, Weston Richburg, in the second round the Giants have taken a big step towards fixing that problem.
At 6'3'' and 300 pounds Richburg is a true warrior who is able to slug it out on the line of scrimmage as both an effective run and pass blocker. Tom Coughlin summed Richburg up best when he said “He can pull, he can block the zone schemes and he makes all the calls". Richburg is basically the complete center. He even managed to play the final game of the 2012 season with a broken arm. With his snapping hand in a club cast Richburg snapped with his weaker left hand.
Richburg's biggest strengths though is his ability a leader. Last season he captained a Colorado State offensive line that averaged 200 rushing yards per game and gave up only 20 sacks. Richburg is the perfect player to help pull the Giant's offensive line together. His main competition for the starting spot is free agent singing J.D. Walton. Injuries have prevented Walton from playing for the last two seasons and I can't see him keeping Richburg out of the starting line-up for long, if at all.
The Giant's later round haven't received universal acclaim but in the long term I reckon they could be seen to be shrewd acquisitions.
A number of pundits have really scratched their heads at third round pick Jay Bromley who was seen as better suited to rounds four or five. The Giants however, fell in love with his speed and interior pass rushing abilities. Bromley got 10 sacks at DT in an impressive
senior season. If he can add ten pounds and keep his speed up then Bromley could be a real sack threat for the Giants.
Fourth round pick RB Andre Williams also seems like a smart choice. Williams ran for over 2,000 yards and his bruising style should combine well with free agent Jennings. William's blitz protection skills also add an extra layer of protection for Manning.
Overall, there is much to like about the Giants draft, I can't help but think they should have been bolder in round one and traded up to grab OT Taylor Lewan. The wide receiver class was deep this year and I think the Giants could have gotten great value drafting a receiver in the later rounds.
The Giants had Michigan tackle Lewan in for pre-draft visits and seemed really keen on him. Lewan could have come in at left tackle immediately and would have added a needed nasty streak to the Giants o-line. Plus he would have increased the strength of that protection the Giants are building around Manning.
Surely either the Lions or Titans could have been induced to trade down one or two spots respectively for an extra pick or two later on. Had the Giants' gambled on Lewan they could have locked up much of the offensive line for years to come.
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