Coming off a (9-7) year in 2011 and into the 2012 draft, the New York Giants would begin an impressive run under General Manager Jerry Reese. Named Giants GM in 2007, Reese has often been criticized in New York for his draft decisions, is it deserved?
One issue undebatable with concern to Jerry Reese is his five-year streak of finding gold in the second round. Since drafting defensive lineman Marvin Austin in the 2011 draft, who played only one season with Big Blue, each second round pick thereafter has played a highly significant team role.
With the 63rd pick of the second round, the New York Football Giants would begin their run of second round success taking Rueben Randle out of LSU. Randle may not have been the most talented receiver in his draft class, but the Giants got all they asked for from Randle in his four seasons in New York.
Rueben Randle (63rd overall): four seasons, 33 games started, 188 receptions, 2,644 yards, 20 touchdowns.
Much like Randle who no longer plays for the New York Giants, Jonathan Hankins also signed with another team (Indianapolis Colts) following the final year of his rookie contract. Hankins out of Ohio State showed the Giants production akin to a first round pick more so than the 48 players taken before him.
Other than Sheldon Richardson and Star Lotulelei, who were taken back to back at 13-14 in the first found, Hankins was an absolute steal at 49. Hankins has failed to live up to the 2014 seven-sack total, however, only accounting for three all of last season. Hankins lack of production surrounded with other great interior linemen like Damon Snacks Harrison forced the Giants to look elsewhere rather than take the risk of resigning him at the premium the Colts recently undertook.
Jonathon Hankins (49th overall): four seasons, 41 games started, 51 assists, 89 tackles, 10 sacks.
Arguably the 2014 draft has been the most impactful in that of recent memory for the New York Giants. Jerry Reese would nail both picks in the first two rounds drafting cornerstones of the Giants recent trend toward success. Not only did Reese take Odell Beckham who is not just the best receiver but could the be best player taken overall in that draft class, but picked the anchor of a shaky Giants offensive line as well.
That lineman taken 43rd overall out of Colorado state, Weston Richburg has been a mirror image of his future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Eli Manning. They’re ironmen, as both men have failed to miss a game since coming into the NFL. In his 47 games in a Giants uniform, Richburg has started 46. Following his first season at LG in 2014, Richburg was asked to move to the center position and since has been the shining star on a less than stellar o-line.
Weston Richburg (43rd overall): NFL games- 47, 46 starts between LG/C.
When heading into the second round GMs look for value picks, looking to see who teams passed on in first that fall into second. On draft day in 2015 when Jerry Reese saw Landon Collins fall out of the top round he had to pull the trigger on taking him out of Alabama.
With the first pick in the second round the Giants could wait no longer, not concerning themselves with experts criticism of Collins not being a true safety or having ideal defensive ball skills. Reese saw physicality and playmaking ability but never could’ve expected what Collins has given them so far. In his breakout second season Landon earned All-Pro Honors as well as a trip to the Pro-Bowl and has become the Giants team leader in defense.
You don’t often find team captains, franchise players, and multi-year All-Pro’s in the second round but Landon Collins has been all that and more. Reese had extra base hits with round two from 2011-2014 but in 2015 he hit a grand slam with Collins, who some football minds say is the best player in New York’s locker room.
Landon Collins (33rd overall): 32 games, 32 games started, 6 interceptions, 53 assists, 180 tackles, 4 sacks.
Jerry Reese couldn’t possibly keep hitting for such a high average in the second round could he? Who could possibly live up to the bar that Reese has set for his second round production as of late? Enter the underrated wideout from Oklahoma, Sterling Shepard.
Sterling Shepard had some competition from his draft class at wide receiver last season. Although some argue the Texan’s Will Fuller was best out of 2016 draft, Shepard had the better statistics in their first season in the NFL.
While the yardage was similar Shepard managed to find the end zone six more times than Fuller. Not bad considering Shepard was being picked 19 picks later in the second round.
The acquisition of veteran Brandon Marshall could change things for better or for worse statistically next season for Sterling Shepard. What will not change going into his second season is the threat that Shepard has become and the affinity Eli Manning has for finding him. Of the recent second round picks Shepard is right at the top when it comes to importance toward team success.
Sterling Shepard (40th overall): 16 games, 65 receptions, 683 yards, 8 touchdowns.
Looking at mock drafts and predictions, below are just a few players who could be the Giants next “big come-up” in the second round of the NFL Draft. There seems to be a trend in philosophy for what position should be drafted in second round.
- Todd McShay (ESPN)- Caleb Brantley, DT Florida.
- Dan Schneier (247 Sports)- Chris Wormley, DL Michigan.
- R.J. White (CBS Sports)- DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State.
- Ed Valentine (SB Nation)- Dalvin Tomlinson, DT Alabama.
- John Fennelly (Elite Sports NY) – Samaje Perine, RB Oklahoma.