Every unit on their roster has gone through the "next man up" scenario and in some instances a rookie has been that next man up. Top pick David Wilson, a RB from Virginia Tech with legendary speed, has curiously not been tapped on the shoulder to inject life into the Giants' ground game.
"Just because you’re a first-round draft pick doesn’t mean you’re ready to play, or they all would be great," said RB coach Jerald Ingram. "Also, the difference in makeup of size. David is not a big man. He’s not 265-270 pounds. He’s not 230-225. He is a situational player as a rookie right now. Yeah he’s explosive, but at what cost is he explosive? Is he explosive at the cost of not being able to protect well, not being able to know his job well enough being a pro? That all has to develop."
Ingram's words ring true. The Giants possibly reached for Wilson with the final selection in the first round. They claim he was the highest-rated player on their board when their turn came to pick. Knowing what we know now, that may or may not be true no matter what GM Jerry Reese has said.
Tampa Bay traded up ahead of the Giants and selected RB Doug Martin of Boise State (known as "Muscle Hamster") who we believe the Giants really had their eye on. In Ingram's statement above, it was Martin that he was comparing Wilson to.
Martin is making a case for Rookie of the Year, and although he won't win with Andrew Luck and RGIII in the running, he's the most productive rookie RB in the league right now. Martin is tied for 4th in the NFL in rushing with 862 yards and leads the league in rushes of over 40 yards or more with four.
Wilson, on the other hand, has been relegated to kickoff return duty, one of the few tasks his current skill set fits at the moment. He embraced that role early on, but like every other aspect of the Giants' game right now, that facet has fallen flat.
There had to be another player at 32 the Giants could have taken. They will try to make lemonade with this possible lemon. I realize it's not fair to judge Wilson so harshly at this early stage of his career, but, I've been doing this quite awhile. He's far from contributing and you can't take projects that high in the draft. You get very little return on your investment. I would love to be proven wrong here, but the from what I've seen and heard, I don't think it will happen.
The Giants aren't getting any immediate bang for their buck out of their recent draft class. In the NFL these days, that's something that can't happen. One of the seven players selected has to be able to produce something out of the box.
With Wilson still in the hangar, far from takeoff the onus falls to second-round pick WR Rueben Randle, who has had some struggles of his own. Randle has the talent to be a good pro, but he has to get used to the Giant way of doing things. He's made a few nice grabs, but consistency is what they are looking for from him. Not worried so much about this pick. He still might play a role down the stretch.
There's no consistency in third-round pick CB Jayron Hosley's game. He is all over the place in the Giants' secondary. He's got the ability, now he just needs the discipline. Here, I agree with the Giants. This is a player worth waiting for. Until then, expect him to learn on the job.
"He’s a pretty resilient player. The big thing is you correct and point out what you can do better to prevent those plays from happening in the future," CB coach Pete Giunta said of Hosley. "To his credit, he’s not a repeat offender. He corrects what he does wrong and he goes on and does better the next time out. A lot of these things are new experiences to him."
We knew fourth-round picks TE Adrien Robinson and OL Brandon Mosley were not going to be 2012 producers for the Blue, so we'll bypass them. Robinson is a regular on the gameday inactive list and Mosley was placed on IR at the beginning of the season with an ankle injury. See you next year.
The Giants did not have a fifth round pick (traded to Cincinnati for injury-laded LB Keith Rivers). In Round Six, they chose UAB OT Matt McCants, who did not make the team in camp and was signed back to the practice squad. It's possible he may amount to something in a year or two.
DT Markus Kuhn was the Giants' final draft pick. He dressed all ten games this season, but has been lost for the season with a torn ACL. Kuhn was developing into a fine interior tackle when he went down last week vs the Bengals. A shame. If he can make it back, he could be one of the positive stories of this class.
The dearth of production coming from the draftees is not just reserved to this year's bunch. Let's go back a year or two.
Of the Giants' top six picks from 2010-11, only JPP has had any kind of impact. Linval Joseph (see Jimmy's piece below) is still getting acclimated. Chad Jones never got to play for the Giants. Prince is still on trial. Jerrel Jernigan does not have the trust of the coaches. Marvin Austin may get a chance now that Kuhn is gone. Then again, maybe he won't.
Now, you know the fear Giant fans are feeling right now. What is the future going to look like? Keep in mind, in the NFL there are no longterm plans. Only short term ones. For the Giants, there's a lot of questions still to be answered.