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2012 NFL Draft Review: The New York Giants

The first in our series breaking down the draft classes of the Cowboys divisional rivals. Giants GM Jerry Reese has a proven eye for talent, and he may have unearthed a few more solid contributors in 2012.

May 11, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese walks off the field after minicamp at the Timex Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
May 11, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese walks off the field after minicamp at the Timex Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

One of the reasons the New York Giants are always a Super Bowl contender is their ability to draft well. Looking over their current roster, the Giants have built a good football team primarily around the draft and will then plug certain holes in free agency.

The man who can be credited for most of the success in New York is their general manager, Jerry Reese. Since becoming the general manager in 2007, Reese has successfully used the draft to build his football team. Look at the big names Reese has drafted since he took over back in 2007:

  • Steve Smith WR 2nd round
  • Kevin Boss TE 5th round
  • Ahmad Bradshaw RB 7th round
  • Kenny Phillips 1st round
  • Terrell Thomas 2nd round
  • Mario Manningham 3rd round
  • Hakeem Nicks 1st round
  • Jason Pierre-Paul 1st round
  • Linval Joseph 2nd round
The jury is still out on 2011 draft picks Prince Amukamara and Marvin Austin, but both had first-round talent and are prime examples of Reese believing in taking the best player available. In my opinion, the Giants are one of the most successful teams in the draft because they have a plan set in place and have a great general manager. I have also noticed that they like to take players from larger, more established schools and I wish the Cowboys would do that more often.

Reese has also made some great decisions outside of the draft. Instead of re-signing Steve Smith, he opted to part ways and that left an opening for Victor Cruz to have his breakout campaign last year. Entering this year's draft, Reese had some decisions to make when he lost some key players in free agency.

David Wilson

Reese made another great decision by letting Brandon Jacobs walk and deciding to draft a running back in the draft. Towards the end of the first-round, the Giants could have went in a variety of directions, but they chose to find Ahmad Bradshaw a partner in crime.

Wilson has fresh legs due to the fact he only started one season for Virginia Tech, but don't be fooled into thinking that it was due to a lack of talent. He was stuck behind great running backs such as Ryan Williams and Darren Evans. Wilson rushed for 1,709 yards and had 9 TD in 2011 for Virginia Tech as the featured running back. He can also play special teams, an area the Giants wanted to upgrade at. Wilson can return punts and kicks, so he may be utilized there early on during his rookie season.

The Giants list him at 5'9, 209 pounds, and that is great size for a running back. Wilson is a very good athlete who is a very smooth runner. He can accelerate and hit the hole very quickly, but he can also be a battering ram that doesn't want to go down. Wilson is also a good receiving threat out of the backfield and should continue to improve in that area. His combination of explosive running and physicality will be the perfect fit in the Giants offense.

He does have some issues fumbling the football, but so did Tiki Barber during his time in New York. Wilson was an excellent draft pick in my opinion and should be a very good football player for the Giants. This could be another home run draft pick by Jerry Reese in the first-round of the draft.

Ultimate David Wilson Highlights (2012 Draft 32nd Pick - New York Giants) (via TheVikingsworld2011)

Rueben Randle

Reese faced another decision when it came to wide receiver Mario Manningham. It was rumored Reese never even tried to re-sign Manningham, instead opting to look for his replacement in the draft. Manningham signed a two-year deal with the 49ers that was worth $7.375 million.

Randle is another example of Reese taking the best player available, as he possibly landed a draft day steal with the former LSU wide receiver. Many considered Randle to be a first-round talent, so this was another great haul for Reese and the Giants.

Randle was held back by some suspect quarterback play and talented wide receivers in front of him on the roster. He was a consistent deep threat and made a lot of big plays during his career at LSU. His numbers aren't eye popping, but when he was on the field he made plays. In his junior season Randle put up 53 receptions, 917 yards and 8 TD. Instead of coming back for his senior season he opted to enter the 2012 NFL Draft and he ended up making a great decision because of where he ended up.

Listed at 6'2,208 pounds, he has the size to become a big target for Eli Manning. He didn't have a great combine workout, and that probably led to his fall in the draft. His game tape is very convincing and that is probably what sold the Giants on taking him.

He will have a great opportunity to produce in his rookie season. Hakeem Nicks suffered a broken foot and could miss the beginning of the season. If Randle can continue to grow as a route runner, he could become a productive player early on in his career.

Ultimate Rueben Randle Highlights (2012 Draft 63rd Pick - New York Giants) (via TheVikingsworld2011)

Jayron Hosley

The Giants went back to Virginia Tech with their third-round pick and selected cornerback Jayron Hosley. Hosley was a prospect that I had scouted for a very long time due to his ability to make plays on the football. Jerry Reese had to replace Aaron Ross after he bolted for Jacksonville during free agency, and the Giants got a real steal with Hosley.

Hosley had 12 interceptions during his college career and is a natural ballhawking cornerback. He is at best in a zone defense where he can read and react. Hosley makes great decisions and is an aggressive cornerback who takes a lot of chances, but those chances usually turn into positive plays. Due to his size, larger wide receivers could give him some trouble. Listed at 5'10, 178, he needs to add more weight to his frame in order to hold up to the physical play that he will see in the NFL.

His cover skills and physical ability should make him a very good nickel cornerback early on in his career. The Giants will probably ask Hosley to play in the nickel and dime packages, but could also put him on the field a lot as their third safety, which is something defensive coordinator Perry Fewell loves to do.

There are some character concerns with Hosley though. He failed his drug test at the NFL Combine and it led to him falling out of the second-round. This is a gamble for Jerry Reese, but Hosley has the talent to become a very good cornerback if he stays out of trouble.

Ultimate Jayron Hosley Highlights (2012 Draft 94th Pick - New York Giants) (via TheVikingsworld2011)

In the battle for the NFC East, the Giants will always be a major hurdle for the Cowboys. They are a very well run organization with talent all over their roster continue to add talent in the draft. I hate to say it, but the Giants are one of the best teams in football for a reason: a great general manager in Jerry Reese.

For more on the New York Giants, head over to Big Blue View

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.