by Adam Fournier, Ourlads’ Intern
The New York Giants have been on a bit of a downslide the past few years following their Super Bowl victory in 2012. The Giants have finished the past two seasons under .500. Part of the Giants’ problems have stemmed from a real lack of production from their previous five drafts. While they have found some solid players that helped win the Super Bowl, the majority of their picks have fallen flat.
The only fair place to start when talking about the last five Giants’ drafts are the members of the 2010 and 2011 draft classes who helped them win the Super Bowl. The biggest name out of the bunch is 2-time Pro Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul. He had a breakout second season in 2012 and was one of the best players in their Super Bowl run. Pierre-Paul continued his fantastic play in the years following the Super Bowl; however, there is currently a doubt in his status for 2015. Pierre-Paul was injured in a fireworks accident putting his 2015 season in question. The second biggest contributor drafted in the last five years was defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Joseph had a good run in his four years with the Giants and was a starter for their Super Bowl season. Prince Amukamara and Jacquian Williams also contributed to the team as reserves. Williams’ biggest play in his time in New York was when he forced a crucial fumble in overtime of the NFC Championship Game. Williams was a contributor at linebacker for four years but is currently out of the league. Amukamara has had a decent career in New York and will be starting in 2015.
The rest of the 2010 and 2011 drafts were not very good. Besides the four players mentioned above the rest of the draft classes made little to no impact in their time in New York. The 7th round pick in 2010 was a punter who only lasted a year and will be remembered for having his punt returned by Desean Jackson in the Eagles’ comeback victory in 2010. The most unfortunate player who did not contribute to the team is Chad Jones. Jones was a national champion football and baseball player at LSU and was drafted in the 3rd round in 2010. Jones sustained terrible injuries in a 2010 car crash a few months after being drafted. He never fully recovered from the accident and never played in the NFL. As a whole, both draft classes were failures.
The 2012 and 2013 draft classes have not been much better. The most productive player so far out of the 2012 draft is Rueben Randle. However, he has been extremely inconsistent and will need to step up in 2015. The rest of the draft has not done much with 1st round pick David Wilson forced to retire after two seasons due to injury. Seventh round pick Markus Kuhn will get a chance to shine as he is projected to start in 2015. The 2013 created two solid contributors in Justin Pugh and Johnathan Hankins, both starters in 2015. However the rest of the picks have failed to make a contribution. Like Kuhn from 2012, 5th round pick Cooper Taylor will have his chance in 2015 and is projected to start for the first time in his career.
The 2014 class looks to be different than the previous four, and is highlighted by potentially the NFL’s next super star. Odell Beckham had a legendary rookie campaign emerging as not only the best rookie receiver in the NFL but one of the best receivers in the NFL. He was a Pro Bowl selection and won the AP and PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year as well as the PFWA Overall Rookie of the Year. Beckham is a super star in the making on and off the field and will be looking to follow up his incredible rookie season in 2015. Beckham was not the only contributor from the 2014 draft as Weston Richburg, Andre Williams, and Devon Kennard made solid contributions in 2014. Richburg and Kennard are projected to start in 2015 while Williams is expected to contribute at running back as a reserve.