New York Giants 2014 Draft: The Good, the Bad and the Baffling
Everything you're about to read should be qualified by the fact that it takes several years to fully assess a team's draft performance. Still, with the 2014 NFL draft in the books, we do have a chance to reflect on each of the picks the New York Giants made in order to make an initial determination regarding how it appears they fared, pre-hindsight.
Here, we attempt to do exactly that.
List of All 2014 Draft Selections
Here's a complete look at who became a Giant over the last three days:
- Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU (1st, 12th overall)
- Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State (2nd, 43rd overall)
- Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse (3rd, 74th overall)
- Andre Williams, RB, Boston College (4th, 113th overall)
- Nat Berhe, SS, San Diego State (5th, 152nd overall)
- Devon Kennard, OLB, USC (5th, 174th overall)
- Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame (6th, 187th overall)
We start with the picks we liked...
Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State (2nd, 43rd overall)
I think any time you can get a potential first-year starter at a position of need with the the 43rd overall pick, you’ve done well.
A lot of people wanted the Giants to focus on offensive tackles in this draft, but they spent a top pick on Justin Pugh last year and added the versatile Geoff Schwartz in free agency. Plus, they’d be silly to give up on the highly-paid Will Beatty this quickly.
With that in mind, center was a good spot to go. Richburg is on the small side, but he’s strong in pass protection, which is huge considering the pressure Eli Manning faced last season.
So while we might have preferred to see the G-Men use one of their first two picks on a defensive lineman, this is a pick that could pay off big time right off the bat.
Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse (3rd, 74th overall)
The Giants had to address the defensive line with their third pick, and Bromley is a nice addition. He can get that all-important pressure up the middle, which could make life a lot easier on Jason Pierre-Paul and Damontre Moore.
Bromley is a perfect fit for this defense because he’s also the type of 3-technique tackle who can work with last year’s second-round defensive tackle, Johnathan Hankins.
Did Bromley go a bit early? Maybe. Some, including NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki and B/R’s Matt Miller, had him pegged as a fourth- or fifth-round pick. But he’s a great fit, and you know they like Syracuse kids. We’re cool with this pick.
Andre Williams, RB, Boston College (4th, 113th overall)
This guy is the perfect Tom Coughlin pick. He comes from a program Coughlin used to run at BC and he’s a model citizen off the field. Plus, he’s an ideal complementary back, or at least someone who could excel alongside someone like David Wilson or Rashad Jennings.
He was also a Heisman candidate in 2013 and was projected by many experts to go in Round 2 or 3. This appears to be an absolute steal.
Don’t be surprised if Williams makes Giants fans forget about Wilson early in 2014, because a major difference between those two is that the tough Williams is considered to be a strong pass-blocker.
Devon Kennard, OLB, USC (5th, 174th overall)
It’s always good to grab versatile guys late, and Kennard has the ability to line up as either an outside linebacker of a defensive end. He had nine sacks as a senior in the Pac-12, so I’d call that a solid addition considering how badly the Giants need to bolster the pass rush.
Another experienced former team captain, he’s an ideal fit on and off the field who could earn some reps this season in place of Spencer Paysinger, Jacquian Williams or Jameel McClain.
We continue with the picks we didn't love...
Nat Berhe, SS, San Diego State (5th, 152nd overall)
This pick makes sense, considering that Antrel Rolle is 31 and Will Hill might be suspended. But at 5’10” and 193 pounds, you have to wonder if Berhe will always be limited in terms of what he can do as a safety. He’s probably just a depth guy, which doesn’t do much to help if Rolle or Hill need to be replaced.
This could easily be a wasted pick in a deep draft, which would be a shame. Stanford’s Ed Reynolds was available here, and I think he has a higher ceiling. Berhe might be another Cooper Taylor, at best.
Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame (6th, 187th overall)
I get it because he’s got extensive special teams experience and should be able to help that unit right away, but the Giants are extremely deep at corner and could have added a guard or tackle here with more potential outside of special teams.
It’s difficult to hate on a sixth-round pick, but this won’t likely pay off.
And we wrap it up with the picks we sort of hated...
Odell Beckham, WR, LSU (1st, 12th overall)
This was an incredibly deep draft for wide receivers, and yet the Giants—who already have Pro Bowler Victor Cruz and talented 2012 second-round pick Rueben Randle—decided to use their highest pick in a decade on a wideout? I don’t get it, regardless of how high Beckham’s ceiling is.
The Giants lost starting defensive linemen Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck in free agency and could have had Aaron Donald in this spot. Donald would have been able to replace Joseph from the get-go while helping that pass rush. He also wouldn’t have interfered with Damontre Moore’s progress.
I think the G-Men could one day regret not taking Donald here, simply because receivers could have been had later, and Donald has Pro Bowl potential. It was a decision uncharacteristic of the rush-oriented Giants, and it left us somewhat baffled, yet not surprised.