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Lessons Learned from New York Giants', Jerry Reese's 2012 Draft Strategy

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Senior Vice President and General Manager Jerry Reese of the New York Giants celebrates after the Giants won 21-17 against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterJuly 20, 2012

The New York Giants are one of the teams that truly seem to "get it" on draft day. They have built a two-time Super Bowl champ through sound drafting and the occasional bold move. General manager Jerry Reese is one of the best in the business, and we always learn a little bit more about how to "win" the draft by dissecting his efforts.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good

The Giants were considering five players when they were on the clock at the end of the first round, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York. Of course the player they selected, running back David Wilson, was one of them. The player they selected 31 picks later, wide receiver Rueben Randle, was another one.

That's right, the Giants got a player at the end of the second that they would have taken at the end of the first. It isn't the first time that they have benefited from the actions (or inactions) of others. The Philadelphia Eagles traded ahead of the Giants in 2010 to take a defensive end, Brandon Graham. The Giants then had to "settle" for Jason Pierre-Paul. 

Reese is patient, but in a few rare instances, he can get excited about a player

It must have been hard for Reese to watch the last few picks before taking Randle, but he bided his time and still got his guy. The Giants didn't trade up for tight end Adrien Robinson, but they took him in the fourth round, much earlier than tight ends with 29 career receptions usually go.

Reese was effusive about the ultra-athletic Robinson, saying that the team was "excited" about him and calling him the "Jason Pierre-Paul of tight ends", according to the Giants official website. The Giants aren't like Rex Ryan's Jets. They don't gush about every rookie. Robinson will be a player worth monitoring.

David Wilson might look like a need-based pick, but he probably isn't

Reese is well-known for taking the best player available, regardless of need, especially at defensive end and cornerback. This year, he took a running back in the first round, a position that the team needed after Brandon Jacobs left town. 

Did the Giants take Wilson over higher-rated players at other positions? No. According to Reese, Wilson was the "highest player on their board". Tight end was the more obvious and pressing need, with Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum both suffering ACL tears in the Super Bowl. As referenced above, when the Giants did take a tight end, they took a high upside project who probably won't contribute much in his first year.

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