There is an idea among sports fans that perception is reality. Owners don’t care if their teams lose because they have boatloads of money. Players care more abut paychecks than they do about loyalty or about winning championships.
The New York Giants never miss on NFL Draft picks.
Current New York general manager Jerry Reese helped build two championship squads via multiple draft classes. It’s for that reason that he is deemed, by some, to be a draft guru. While New York’s 2007 draft was as good as you’ll find in the past decade, the truth of the matter is that Reese and company, and also the previous Giants’ regime, have missed on plenty of picks through the years.
There are even some analysts out there who believe Reese should be on the hot seat next January if the Giants have another disappointing season, one that sees them out of the playoffs.
Here are the New York Giants’ biggest draft misses since 2000
10. David Wilson – RB (32nd overall in 2012)
Wilson serves as an example that NFL running backs are not made on speed alone. One has to be able to execute the fundamentals in order to thrive on Sundays. After averaging five yards per carry in his rookie campaign, Wilson found himself in the doghouse of New York head coach Tom Coughlin when he lost two fumbles in Week 1.
Then, it was learned that he was suffering from both a herniated disc and spinal stenosis.
Wilson had surgery in January, and his status for the future is currently unknown. The hope is that he will be ready for training camp, but it must be noted that he has not yet been cleared for football activities. A running back having such a serious neck injury this early into his career sets off numerous alarms.
9. Hakeem Nicks – WR (29th overall in 2009)
Nicks has superstar talent, but he hasn’t yet become a superstar wide receiver. He has never played in a full 16-game regular season. Nicks did have 10 touchdowns in 2010, but his TD totals dropped to seven in 2011 and then to three in 2012. Then, in a contract season, Nicks didn’t find the end zone once in 2013.
A laundry list of injuries have affected Nicks since year one of his professional career. He was recently released by the Giants. For all that he achieved while wearing Big Blue, Nicks will likely never be the cornerstone WR he was supposed to be when drafted. That is why he makes this list.
8. Jeremy Shockey – TE (14th overall pick 2002)
Surprised to see Shockey here? You shouldn’t be. Shockey never lived up to his full potential for a variety of reasons. He failed to survive a full 16-game season in each of his ten years in the NFL. He was a headache on the field, in the locker room and in press conferences.
Shockey suffered a serious leg injury in December of 2007. He then sat in a suite and watched as quarterback Eli Manning put the Giants on his back and led the team to a playoff berth, a NFC Championship and then a Super Bowl victory versus the 18-0 New England Patriots. Shockey left the team for the New Orleans Saints the following offseason.
Not many in East Rutherford missed him.
7. Ron Dayne – RB (11th overall pick 2000)
Dayne, the winner of the 1999 Heisman Trophy, was supposed to be the second part of a “Thunder and Lightning” combo involving him and Tiki Barber. The experiment started out well enough. Dayne went for 770 rushing yards in his rookie campaign, and he found the end zone seven times the following season.
Dayne just couldn’t keep his weight down.
His carries and rushing yards totals decreased in each of the next two years. Dayne and the Giants then parted ways, and he had stints with the Denver Broncos and then the Houston Texans. He last played in the NFL in 2007.
6. Ramses Barden – WR (85th overall in 2009)
Barden was, when taken in 2009, supposed to be the ultimate red zone target for quarterback Eli Manning. Listed at 6-6 and 224 pounds, the belief was that the Giants acquired what could, years down the road, be regarded to be the steal of the draft.
None of that ever came close to occurring.
Barden never seemed to learn how to play the pro game. He caught just 15 passes in 17 regular season appearances in his first three NFL seasons. Then came that Thursday night game on the road against the Carolina Panthers on September 20, 2012, when Barden exploded for nine receptions and 138 receiving yards. Rather than serve as a jump-start to his career, that night will likely be nothing more than a one-off.
Barden didn’t play in 2013. He signed with the Buffalo Bills in January 2014
5. Sinorice Moss – WR (44th overall in 2006)
Moss was, for four years, a “just wait and see” player; i.e. “just wait until he gets more playing time” or “just wait until he shows what he can do in the return game.” He loved being with the Giants, and he was part of the team that won the Super Bowl in February, 2008.
That said, Moss never developed into a NFL wide receiver. He averaged fewer than 10 catches a season in his four years with the team. He couldn’t keep gigs with the Philadelphia Eagles or with even the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Moss last played in the NFL in 2009.
4. Tim Carter – WR (46th overall pick 2002)
Carter’s best season was in 2003. He caught 26 passes, and he had zero touchdowns that year. He managed to play in seven seasons in the NFL, during which he reeled in a total of 81 targets. Professional football can be a funny game sometimes.
3. Clint Sintim – LB (45th overall in 2009)
“I’ll bet a lot of you forgot all about linebacker Clint Sintim” was what Dan Graziano of ESPN.com wrote about the player back in May of 2013. That might be harsh, but it certainly isn’t unfair. Sintim had 33 tackles and a single sack before calling time on his playing career. He is on what is a long list of linebackers drafted by the Giants who were ultimately flops.
2. William Joseph – DT (25th overall pick 2003)
Joseph is one of those players that you have to research because you legitimately don’t remember what he contributed on the field. He spent four seasons with the Giants, during which he accumulated 72 tackles and seven sacks.
Joseph never again sacked a quarterback while playing in the NFL. He played in 14 games with the Oakland Raiders from 2008 through the end of 2009, and life outside of professional football hasn’t been kind to Joseph.
1. Marvin Austin – DT (52nd overall in 2011)
Austin has to go right up there with the biggest misses of Reese’s career. The defensive tackle played in only eight games in 2012 before the Giants deemed him to be surplus to requirements. He then made a single appearance with the Dallas Cowboys before playing two games with the Miami Dolphins in 2013.
Austin is currently a free agent.
It’s still early into his career, but…