NFL DRAFT: No changes expected with new GM Jerry Reese in charge Print
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Tuesday, 24 April 2007 09:43
NFL Headline News

 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Jerry Reese is the man in the spotlight as the New York Giants head into the NFL draft with needs at almost every position.
Will the Giants' draft philosophy change with Reese running the show as general manager instead of the retired Ernie Accorsi?
Will Reese carry the dominant opinion, or will coach Tom Coughlin have more of a say in making the pick with his job on the line after an 8-8 playoff season and first-round exit.
There are tons of other questions. They are all equally irrelevant.
One of a handful of blacks to serve as an NFL general manager or in a similar capacity, Reese has run the Giants' draft operations for the past four years. He sits at the head of the table in the team's draft room at Giants Stadium and conducts the give-and-take between the front office, the coaches and the scouts.
Coughlin again will sit to his right. The difference this year is that Accorsi won't be in the second seat to the right of Reese with the all-important tiebreaking vote.
That belongs to Reese, but don't make too much of that either.
The Giants tend to be a team that can reach a consensus at draft time. They did it under the late George Young, and it continued with Accorsi the past nine seasons. Don't expect anything different with the 20th pick overall this year.
``I really don't think about it as my first pick,'' Reese said. ``It is the New York Giants' pick. That's every year. I don't think Ernie saw it as Ernie Accorsi's pick. I don't think George saw it as George's pick. He is the New York Giants' pick.''
So who will the pick be?
Reese was hired by the Giants in 1994 and was mentored by Young, who believed in taking players who were productive at the highest levels of college football.
With that in mind, New York needs help at left tackle, thanks to Reese's decision to waive Luke Petitgout, receiver, running back, outside linebacker and cornerback.
An overpriced free agency market prevented Reese from filling those needs in the offseason. The lone exception was the signing of former Chiefs linebacker Kawika Mitchell to a one-year deal for $1 million. He will probably play the strong side, leaving Pro Bowler Antonio Pierce in the middle.
The question again is who do you take?
Reese said there are plenty of options with picks 10 through 25, giving the Giants the opportunity to move down to pick up another draft pick, too.
The logical pick would be a left tackle, which would allow David Diehl to return guard.
Joe Thomas of Wisconsin and Levi Brown of Penn State almost definitely will be gone by the time New York picks, so Joe Staley, a former tight end who excelled at Central Michigan might be a good choice.
Might be.
Although the Giants need a halfback with the retirement of Tiki Barber, they'll get by with Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns for now and probably take a running back in a later round.
While Paul Posluszny of Penn State and Lawrence Timmons of Florida State could fill needs at outside linebacker, don't expect the Giants to use their No. 1 pick at this position.
That leaves cornerback and receiver for the No. 1.
There are three outstanding cornerbacks who would work nicely for new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: Aaron Ross of Texas, Eric Wright of UNLV and Chris Houston of Arkansas. All are good in one-on-one coverage.
On the downside, the last time the Giants took a cornerback with their No. 1 pick was in 2001. Will Allen never fulfilled the expectations, in large part because he couldn't catch the ball.
And that brings us to receiver. It might be the most interesting spot in the draft. Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech is to be a top-five prospect. The position is deep, with Robert Meachem of Tennessee, Dwayne Bowe of LSU and Ted Ginn Jr. of Ohio State also mentioned in the first round.
There is another one who might interest the Giants: Dwayne Jarrett of Southern California.
Forget that Jarrett is a New Jersey kid. That won't influence the Giants' pick.
What is important is that veteran Amani Toomer is coming off knee surgery, and that the Giants and Eli Manning struggled last season with only Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey as viable pass targets.
Jarrett also fits the old George Young profile of being productive at the highest level. In three years, he caught 216 catches for 3,138 yards and 41 touchdowns in 38 games.
The receptions broke Keary Colbert's school record of 207 catches, and surpassed Ken Margerum's Pac-10 record of 32 TD catches early in the season.
The draftniks who have downgraded him because of his speed fail to remember that Jerry Rice wasn't the fastest guy in the draft.
So here's a long shot for the Giants' pick: Dwayne Jarrett.
 

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