But in reviewing that draft here in 2011, I can't help but catching myself on the glaring error the Giants may have made in the first round.
At the time, the Giants had Antonio Pierce at MLB and were not looking to daft an heir apparent to him. In retrospect, maybe they should have. At the time, though, it may not have been wise.
Pierce was signed to a five-year, $26 million dollar deal that would make him a Giant through 2009. He played well for the Giants, and fans have no regrets over his Giant career other than it was cut short by a neck injury.
That does not change the fact that they passed on Miami LB Jon Beason with the 20th pick to take Texas CB Aaron Ross in Round One. (Beason was taken five slots later by Carolina).
Ross has had a difficult time staying healthy for the Blue. He is currently their third CB behind Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas. His resume on draft day included kick and punt returning, which we have yet to see him do on the Pro level, with any regularity, anyway.
The tell-tale signs that Ross may have been a reach were certainly there at the time.
According to Football's Future.com before the 2007 draft....
Ross has a great blend of skills. His athleticism, quickness, and speed make him an impact performer as a cornerback and return man. He has the ability to stick with receivers in and out of cuts, and the speed to run with them down the field. Ross also shows the ball skills to locate the ball while it is in the air and make a play on it. His playmaking skills as a punt returner add to his value........Ross is a work in progress as a corner. He relies on his athletic gifts too often to make plays. He is also going to have to bulk up and get stronger at the next level. He has a thin frame, and can have problems against more physical receivers.Meanwhile, Beason, who was probably passed on because he was deemed a tad small (6', 237) has developed into a Pro Bowl-level MLB. (The Giants must have forgotten that Pierce himself was only 6'1, 238).
Beason's statistics over his first four seasons rival those of top performers such as San Francisco's Patrick Willis and Chicago's Brian Urlacher - two players seen often in Hawaii this time of year (as is Beason).
James Dator of Cat Scratch Reader, a Panthers blog, outlines just how close Beason is in production to Willis, Urlacher and another Miami alum who is headed to Canton - Ray Lewis.
Hey, Ross is still only 28 and has little wear and tear on him since he's spent such little time on the field. He still may pan out.
It just goes to show you that you can never tell which prospect is going hit the ground running and which is just going to hit the ground.