Over the next few days, I will count down Jerry Reese’s top eleven draft picks / undrafted free agents during his first five years as General Manager of the New York Giants. My rankings are based on a combination of the talent levels and accomplishments of the player thus far, while also taking their draft position into consideration (if they were drafted at all).
But first, the honorable mentions:
Round 1 (Pick 31) - 2008
To get a top talent like Phillips at the team’s biggest need position with the last pick in the first round made for a fantastic pick. Reese got lucky that Phillips somehow slipped that late, but that was the last bit of luck involved with this pick. Phillips’ arthritic knees have cost him a lot of time, and kept him from reaching his full potential. Still, he is a good young player who played a part in helping the team win Super Bowl 46, and we may not have seen the best from him yet.
Round 2 (Pick 46) - 2010
He still needs to play more consistently, but he was great in the 2011 playoffs. I thought Sean Lee was the better pick at the time, and nothing has changed my opinion on that, but Joseph may very well develop into a borderline pro-bowler playing inside of Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Round 4 (Pick 129) - 2009
An honorable mention for this alone.
Round 4 (Pick 116) - 2007
He’s done nothing as a linebacker, but he’s a two time pro bowler as a long-snapper. That’s worth something, especially considering the franchise’s history at long-snapper. He is also the Giants' Special Teams captain.
Round 5 (Pick 147) - 2010
He hasn’t done enough to make it onto the top 10 list, not by a long shot. But when he did play this year, he showed some great flashes, especially in his run blocking, and he looks like he’ll be a big part of the Giants’ offensive line moving forward. Bottom line is that if this draft were done again today, he would be taken much higher.
Round 5 (Pick 165) - 2008
We’re probably stretching a bit here, but that’s why these are the honorable mentions. Goff was turning into a solid two-down middle linebacker, which is pretty good for a fifth round pick. Goff looked primed for a very nice season before he was lost due to injury in the pre-season.