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Season-In-Review: What Went Right – Draft

Draft 2009
Round, Pick (Overall) Player
Rd 1, Pick 29 (29) Nicks, Hakeem WR
Rd 2, Pick 13 (45) Sintim, Clint OLB
Rd 2, Pick 28 (60) Beatty, William OT
Rd 3, Pick 21 (85) Barden, Ramses WR
Rd 3, Pick 36 (100) Beckum, Travis TE
Rd 4, Pick 29 (129) Brown, Andre RB
Rd 5, Pick 15 (151) Bomar, Rhett QB
Rd 6, Pick 27 (200) Wright, DeAndre DB
Rd 7, Pick 29 (238) Woodson, Stoney DB

The 2009 Draft class for the NY Giants was perhaps the best used class since, well — 2008. And the reason this isn’t surprising is that the Giants do a really great job of drafting young talent with very few defections to that rule. And while it’s typical for Coughlin and the coaching staff to sit on great players and let them develop for a year or two before they make it into the big blue limelight, this year the sense of urgency surrounding the WR position seemed to have forced their hand a bit in relying on young talent in 2009.

If paid off in the sense that 2 of the 7 players emerged as starters this season (Nicks / Beatty), 2 others emerged as trustworthy enough to fill into the rotation (Sintim / Beckum), and it’s likely that Ramses Barden will be depended on heavily in 2010 as the finer points of his game continues to improve, particularly on Special Teams.

Rhett Bomar and Andre Brown will both be around next season but assuming Eli Manning stays healthy, we’ll not get a chance to see Bomar again after preseason play…. and Andre Brown’s ruptured Achilles could spell trouble for him even though he’d be expected to participate. A little digging also indicates that Brown had two prior surgeries on his left ankle as well — so unless he’s got the heart of Ahmad Bradshaw this guy is going to be a coin flip until we see him closer to full speed next summer.

So with that in mind, let’s break down the guys we saw at full speed and under the lights this year.

Hakeem Nicks: Outstanding production from the Giants first round pick. Showed huge potential in camp and delivered on the field throughout the season. Surprisingly he had a touchdown or huge play in basically every game for the Giants 5-0 start even though his play time was an afterthought… and in a starting role over Mario Manningham he made far less crucial mental mistakes when it mattered, even though he had “the dropsies” a few times most notably against the Eagles… but the big difference is his determination to right the ship even after a struggle and come away with a huge runs after the catch, so often for touchdowns of which he had 6. The bar will be raised even higher for Nicks next season and we can easily expect him to rise to the occasion.

Clint Sintim: Had a just fine season overall. Not bad, not great… but he only got 130 snaps to be fair. Sintim recorded his first NFL sack of many to come, and the Giants need to figure out how best to use this miniature tank out of VA. We saw him at DE and LB, and if the Giants do indeed go to a 3-4 defense then Sintim fits right into the mix at OLB with some familiarity. Sintim should be reasonably considered as a decent run stopper, coverage LB, but inexperienced pass rusher… which is probably why Tony Romo never saw him coming for that sack. Look for lots more of him next season.

William Beatty: In a pinch, did well enough for starting in place of Kareem McKenzie who is of course damn hard to replace. Consistently good run blocking, but lining up next to Chris Snee would give anyone confidence. Stopping the pass rush was inconsistent, and Minnesota’s D-line in the finale completely handled everyone we had on the O-line including Beatty… but that was a worst case scenario. I’m not ready to give him a starting role over even an 80% McKenzie, but Diehl is overrated even though he’s a good guy. Beatty has shown that he can shore up the run gaps at LT that Diehl couldn’t so I think that’s where his starting home for 2010 should be assuming nothing else changes with this line.

Ramses Barden: Still not sure why we didn’t see him throughout the year more – our special teams coverage wasn’t good regardless of his participation or not. But the one most notable catch he did make in the Minnesota finale sent shock up my spine because it was a high dart that he caught in stride and turned upfield quickly for 16 yards of a 3 step drop. That is what we have to look forward to next year, hopefully as a mainstay ingredient because I think everyone has figured out that #12 Steve Smith is no joke… and Eli Manning isn’t the only quarterback who gets pressured into unloading the ball and needing a big tall receiver to go up and make a play to keep the chains moving or to pull in a touchdown pass in tight quarters.

Travis Beckum: While Beckum got into the mix quite a lot this year, caught some passes for critical first downs, the question I have about Beckum is more for the Giants: How can he be better used since the WR’s we have now are so good, and Kevin Boss has clearly cemented himself as among the most productive overall TE’s in the NFC? My idea is this — line him up as a fullback when there is even the slightest CHANCE that you’re going to throw a little pass to him… because I’m not joking if I see one more pass thrown to Hedgecock I’m going to blow my brains out. Beckum has great hands and has shown he’s more adept at turning upfield with the ball than Hedgecock could ever dream about… and we need a backup FB for sure. We have too many TE’s as it is and guys like Kevin Boothe should never be thrown at again, ever. So I expect Beckum to be able to contribute in several ways next year as the Giants take a good hard look at their offensive weapons, who works and who does not.

And the 2008 class was just as impressive:

Kenny Phillips: Perhaps the biggest tragedy of all this season came early, Phillips’ week 2 departure to the IR. Coughlin maintains that he’s progressing well, is on schedule, and hopefully he can return and be atleast a warm body in place of CC Brown of Michael Johnson — even if Phillips has to play on crutches he’ll be better than that detrimental duo. Oooff.

Terrell Thomas: No one saw it coming but Thomas eclipsed Corey Webster as the Giants best corner by a long shot. After the Arizona game Corey Webster must have burned out, because he was a buzz kill from that point on. If the Giants intend to make their secondary a priority next season, and they need to — Thomas gets a popcorn maker next year.

Mario Manningham: What a roller-coaster ride this young man had us on. You’ve heard of the explosive Percy Harvin right? Guess what, Super Mario broke even more tackles than Minnesota’s lightening quick and uber-touted rookie sensation. But to balance it out and highlight the major issues with (Super) Mario he also led the league in drops. Regardless, Manningham truly emerged as a threat this year and I expect his route running to get much better this offseason as there will be ample time (and footage) to review the finer points of his game. Eli Manning has shown he takes his job seriously enough to work year-round with his receivers and get everyone on the same page and improving even while off the field. I think next year Manningham’s TD count doubles from his respectable 5 this year, and that’s not far off if you think about it because he dropped 5 sure TD’s THIS season… but there’s always next year I guess.

Jonathan Goff: Was as devastating a Special Teamer in existence in the NFL, but when he started for Antonio Pierce at MLB, his rookie card stuck out of his back pocket a bit. Goff was excellent in stopping up the run gaps, and he even forced a fumble away from Dallas’ choice on the goal line — no easy task. But his coverage really was lacking, and he missed several key tackles the last two games of the season. One highlight was his INT of Donovan McNabb, who hit Goff right in the numbers but Goff held onto the ball and gave the Giants a chance to win that game outright. That didn’t happen of course, but the momentum was there and Goff stepped up big time in that game to do his part. The next week in Washington he was all over Jason Campbell, and I think Goff shows a lot of promise for next season. Between Goff, Sintim, and Kehl – they bring a lot of potential to the the Giants LB rotation between Pierce, Blackburn and Boley, or whoever else they Giants make moves for.

Bryan Kehl: Much like Goff, Kehl had a solid year on Special Teams and filling in at LB. Needs to clean up missed tackles when it counts but other than that, consistently good play.

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That’s it folks — the Giants look to the 2010 draft already with some young players who hope to step their part up next year and get even more snaps. Holes at Safety, DB, D-line, and O-line need to be addressed this coming April, we’ll see what happens with their picks.


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2 Responses to “Season-In-Review: What Went Right – Draft”

  1. CMH says:

    Love the idea of seeing Beckum more in an “H Back” role w Hedgecock on the bench. I cringe every time Eli checks down and throws a short one to 39.

    2 or 3 receivers plus Boss in patterns and 47 out of the backfield would be a difficult match up.

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