The 2015 season was a disastrous one for the New York Giants. They missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, and for the third year in a row, the Giants had a losing record. As a result, after 12 seasons and winning two Super Bowl titles, Tom Coughlin stepped down as Giants head coach. In little more than a week after Coughlin resigned, the Giants promoted offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo as the 17th head coach in New York Giants history.
Although McAdoo is the new coach, the pressure is on general manager Jerry Reese to turn the franchise around and get it back to its glory days. Many fans and media members felt the reason for the Giants recent failures has been their poor draft picks over the last several seasons, and that Reese not Coughlin should have been the one to go. The issue with the Giants poor draft classes over the past few seasons was echoed by co-owner John Mara during Coughlin’s resignation press conference.
The 52 year old Reese knows that all eyes are on him to turn the franchise around and he says he’s up to the challenge, and he acknowledged his draft picks, especially in the mid to late rounds, have not panned out. To say that Reese has had poor draft classes would be a huge understatement. With the exception of Reese’s first draft class in 2007, the Giants draft classes have been below average. Arguably the worst draft class occurred in 2009 when the Giants had five picks out of the top 100 players drafted, and only one of the players the Giants selected (Hakeem Nicks) was a protective starter. That was the same draft where Reese drafted linebacker Clint Sintim in the second round. Sintim NFL career lasted only three seasons and finished his career with 33 tackles.
In addition to Sintim, Reese has missed on several other early round picks such as Marvin Austin, Jerrel Jernigan, Jayron Hosley and Damontre Moore. Sure Reese deserves credit on striking gold with some of his first round picks such as Odell Beckham Jr. and last year’s first round draft pick Ereck Flowers. But if you’re going to be competitive in the NFL, you need contributions from your mid and late round draft picks.
Not only has Reese missed on numerous draft picks, but his free agent acquisitions haven’t been that much better. The Giants have been unable to sign big name free agents especially on defense. When your draft picks don’t pan out as you hoped and you’re unable to sign big name free agents you can expect disastrous results. It’s the reason the Giants were dead last in defense in 2015.
The good news for Reese is the Giants will have over 50 million dollars in cap space this offseason to revamp their roster. You can expect the Giants to try to sign a free agent receiver such as Marvin Jones or Alshon Jeffrey since Rueben Randle is unlikely to return. Aside from acquiring another receiver, the Reese’s attention will be to upgrade the defense which was one of the worst in NFL history. It’s been a Giants tradition to have an opposing and intimidating defense, and Reese needs to do whatever it takes to make the Giants defense what it once was. There are a number of key defensive players such as Muhammad Wilkerson, Malik Jackson, and Bruce Irvin that would be huge upgrades.
You can also expect the Giants to focus on defense in this upcoming draft. The Giants have the 10th pick in the draft where it’s possible UCLA outside linebacker Myles Jack will be available. Jack would give the Giants a play making linebacker they desperately need.
Without question this is the most important offseason in Jerry Reese’s tenure as general manager. If he’s unable to significantly upgrade the roster and get the Giants back to their winning ways he will soon be out of a job. Reese said recently that he’s a lot tougher than he looks. Well Giants fans don’t want a tough GM, they want a GM that can put together a roster and bring home the franchises fifth Lombardi Trophy.
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