The seventy fifth NFL draft is two-thirds complete and the Giants have not upgraded their linebacker position.
What is Reese thinking? What is going on? No linebackers!!! As a franchise, the Giants have been known for having outstanding defenses. And these defenses were anchored by superb linebackers. Huff, Taylor, Carson, Van Pelt, and Banks were the cornerstone of past Giants' defenses. However, this lineage of luminous linebackers is a thing of the past. For whatever reason, the last time the Giants chose a linebacker with their first round pick was 1984. Carl Banks was selected third overall. The linebacker position has been ignored. Dismissed. Over the years, it has been replenished with free agents. Some of these free agents have panned out. Michael Barrow and Antonio Pierce played well but both lasted only five seasons. Yes, the Giants have drafted linebackers. Names like Greisen, Mallard, Monk, Jones, Short, Buckley do not resonate with Giants fans. Albeit, they did unearth an eighth round pick in 1993-Jesse Armstead. Since Armstead left the team in 2002, the Giants have not had a physical presence and playmaker at this position. Sad.
In the meantime, last night, the Giants drafted DT Linval Joseph. Joseph will help anchor a defensive line which was decimated by injuires in 2009. When I heard the Giants selected Joseph, this abominable play from last year came to mind. Remember how the Giants made Eagles' FB Leonard Weaver look like Jim Brown. Newark Star-Ledger's Mike Garafolo critiqued the Giants defense on Eagles FB Leonard Weaver's long touchdown run. You would think everything would have to go wrong for Weaver to take off on the longest run of his career for a TD to start the game. You would pretty much be correct. Cofield got blown off the ball, Robbins went down like a house of cards on a combo block. Pathetic!
What did Wonder and Pete think of Linval Joseph?
Wonder: A horse. No stats, no publicity, SLEEPER! Moves pretty good, 3-4 NT, or 4-3, DT 1 technique. Strong as a bull. You can get him in Round 4 or 5 , super value.
Pete: MY SLEEPER OF THE WHOLE DRAFT! Unlimited Upside.
Here is transcripts of Giants GM Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin on Joseph.
Reese's comment on Joseph. "He doesn't get pushed back an awful lot from the line of scrimmage and he holds his ground."
Like I stated earlier, last year, the Giants defensive line was a sieve. Let us root for Joseph to win a starting spot. If DT Rocky Bernard cannot get on the field, he may be out of a job.
In the third round, the Giants added former LSU safety Chad Jones. With Jones being selected, the Giants now have stockpiled the safety position. Last season, after Kenny Phillips was lost for the year, there was a dearth of quality safeties on the Giants roster. Reese's lapse in judgment cost the Giants. Apparently, Reese learned his lesson. Do not keep three safeties on a 53 man roster. Especially, when one of them is named C.C. Brown.
Wonder on Chad Jones:
Wonder- Big guy, Can he step up and play to his talent? Played all three years at LSU. 3 INTs for career? Has all skills, size, and speed. Baby Taylor Mays. Force the fumbles.
Here is the Giants' director of college scouting Marc Ross on Chad Jones.
Lastly, I reside outside the New Orleans area. A good friend of mine is a fervent LSU fan. He goes to all the LSU games at home and on the road. I called him to comment on Chad Jones. Here is what he told me:
If Jones stayed in school another year, it would have benefited him.
It may take him a year or two to develop into a good pro.
He can guard an opposing teams' tight end.
He is physical and can tackle well.
He can play special teams. His 93 yard punt return against Mississippi State was impressive.
What are your thoughts on the Giants draft picks?