Breaking Down the New York Giants’ Last 5 Drafts: Part I

A look at the New York Giants 2012 draft class.

The NFL draft is a time of hope and optimism for all 32 teams who, after months if not years of studying prospective draft picks, go into the annual three-day player selection event full of hope that the countless hours of film study, the analytics, the interviews and workouts they have done on the half dozen or more players they end up selecting produce some home runs.

That, of course, isn’t always the case. There are unexpected twists, such as injuries. There are also guys who turn out to be not quite what the Giants thought they were getting.

That’s something that happens to every NFL team at some point. When the annual misses far outweigh the home-runs, that’s when it’s time to rely on free agency, a process which, in fact, creates its own vicious cycle because a team becomes forced to “overpay” for a mulligan that usually represents a failed pick.

The unfortunate result of that occurs when the players who did work out come up for a new contract, it becomes a challenge for a team to retain everyone, thus creating some unwanted turnover on the roster, which just so happens to be what the Giants are potentially facing this offseason.

With all that said, we’re going to spend some time looking at how the New York Giants have fared with their last five drafts as we get ready for the upcoming scouting combine.

For each class, we give you the picks, the best pick, the worst pick, the biggest head-scratcher and a final thought or two on that class and its impact on the franchise.

Because this is a long piece, we’ll feature a different class each day, starting with the 2012 draft class.

 The Class of 2012

Round Overall Player Position School
1 32 David Wilson RB Virginia Tech
2 63 Rueben Randle WR LSU
3 94 Jayron Hosley CB Virginia Tech
4 127 Adrien Robinson TE Cincinnati
4 131 Brandon Mosley OT Auburn
6 201 Matt McCants OT Alabama-Birmingham
7 239 Markus Kuhn DT North Carolina State

Best Pick

Based on production and only production, you’d have to point to receiver Rueben Randle, who in his final two seasons with the Giants recorded 128 catches for 1,735 yards and 11 touchdowns. When Randle was on his game, it was easy to see why the Giants were attracted to him.

Unfortunately, from play to play, you never knew exactly what Randle was going to give you, which made him one of the more frustrating draft picks from 2012 to watch.

[graphiq id=”2ojr0fVgZTL” title=”Rueben Randle Best Games of Career” width=”600″ height=”651″ url=”” ]

Pick to Forget

It’s not really a surprise or disappointing when a sixth- or seventh-round draft pick ends up on the practice squad.

Yet what’s disappointing about Matt McCants (6-6, 310 pounds) is that he had the size and the tool set to be a solid offensive tackle, but he never made it to the 53-man roster.

McCants spent the 2012 season and part of the 2013 campaign on the practice squad before the Raiders signed him away. Last season, he was with the Bears.

Over his career, McCants has played in 30 games so far with three starts, raising questions as to what it was the Raiders were able to do differently in coaching this kid to get on the field  that the Giants could not.

Biggest Unanswered Question

You have to feel a little bit sorry for Adrien Robinson, who was labeled the “JPP of tight ends,” yet who never came close to living up to that expectation.

To be fair, general manager Jerry Reese’s quote was taken out of context. Here, per the transcript from that year’s draft, is Reese’s full quote regarding Robinson:

We really think this guy has a huge upside. “He is a big, big man [with] long arms. He didn’t catch a lot of balls for (Cincinnati), but he is kind of a late bloomer who has really come on. And we think this guy is kind of a JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] of tight ends.

Reese, for those who forgot, was actually comparing Robinson’s build and physical traits to Pierre-Paul’s, not his skill set. Here is what he said when asked for clarification on his “JPP of tight ends” remark.

He is just a big, gigantic man with long arms. And he is really a good athlete. This guy is almost 6-5, 270 pounds. He ran 4.57. He has got those freakish athletic numbers.

Still, Giants fans are no doubt wishing Robinson, who only played in 19 games for the Giants over a three-year period (mostly thanks to injuries), had turned into an actual “JPP of tight ends.”

The Final Word

The Giants’ 2012 draft class will probably be best remembered for the potential that, in part, was washed away by injuries.

David Wilson (neck) saw his career end really before it had a chance to get started. Jayron Hosley, Adrien Robinson and Brandon Mosley all dealt with injuries as well that stunted their development and helped contribute to their not receiving a second contract.

People will say this class was a bust because it didn’t contribute anything. I can’t help but wonder if anything might have been different had these guys not had to spend as much time in the trainer’s room as they did.

Tuesday: A Look at the 2013 Giants draft class.



1 Comment on "Breaking Down the New York Giants’ Last 5 Drafts: Part I"

  1. as up and down as randle was i thought it would be a bad idea to let him go and sign him to at least a 1 yr prove it deal if there was a chance because he knew the system and was only a cpl hundred yards shy of 1000 turns out thats more production than cruz got but it’s dome now so we move on.

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