A Month of Fundays

A New York Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers and other stuff blog.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Giants Draft: A Bad Habit

Last year, the Giants spent 2 picks to move up in the 4th round and draft Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib.  The jury's still out on Nassib, but trading up is a move that has literally never paid off for them in the last 10 years.

Before you say, "What about Eli?"  That was not a trade up.  The Giants didn't acquire the #1 pick, they acquired Eli after picking Philip Rivers with their own pick, and then swapping Rivers and picks to get Eli.     So that was not a trade up.   And for the record, I think Rivers would have been a disaster playing in Giants stadium wind and weather and with the New York Press.

So here are the guys the Giants have traded up for:

2006:  Sinorice Moss

2008:  Bryan Kehl

2009:  Ramses Barden

2013:  Ryan Nassib.

Moss required trading up in the second round.  Barden required trading up in the third.   Kehl and Nassib required moving up in the 4th.   So Moss was the worst use of resources, Barden the second worse and so on and so forth.

So now, we know at least 75% of the time the Giants have done that they have wasted 2 picks.  Essentially, that means that the Giants felt passionately about the three players who have already failed.  Obviously players they didn't like as much and who have gone onto much better careers whom the Giant brain trust just didn't recognize.   That argues pretty heavily against the notion of a scouting advantage I thought they possessed when we were winning Super Bowls.  

It's perplexing when this happens.   Especially when  it happens under Jerry Reese who was a notably good scout when that was his job.    The Moss disaster took place under Ernie Accorsi.     Sinorice Moss was an underproductive player at Miami, who was fast, but had tight hips, and no specials value.    In doing so, the passed on Daryn Colledge, Marcus McNeill, Ryan Cook, Greg Jennings, Anthony Fasano, Andre Whitworth, Devin Hester and Maurice Jones Drew, among other who could have really helped them.

Usually drafts have one small pool of blue chip prospects, then a much bigger pool of red chip players.  Red chip players are usually red chip because they have a presumptive flaw in size, speed, development or level of play.  All this being said, there are more former red chip players than blue chip players in the hall of fame.  A blue chip player busts for you, it's far more costly than a red chip player busting, but you build you team by finding the red chip players who can perform for you.

So when you trade two picks after the first round, you are invariably giving away the chance to get two red chips that fit you for 1 red chip you have a "conviction" about.   Paying 2 for 1 for anything is bad business.   I think that's clear.  Even if you think draft picks aren't worth much, they are worth what they are worth, and if your trade up nets a player who is not as good as a bunch of players you didn't take, you've screwed the pooch.

The Giants have done this at least 3 times in the last ten years, and may have done it again last year.  It's on Nassib to break the streak,


At 6:34 PM, Blogger Vishal Desai said...

Seems we have a tendency to move up on years where we have a decent amount of extra picks (compensatory). Maybe they feel like its better to use the resources to grab someone you have a conviction on rather than pay the extra rookie scale picks.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Kalel9 said...

Hey Vishal, it's proven to be a lousy idea on all three of the occasions where we've decided to go for it for a player. So squandering the move up picks from 08 and 09 could be among the reasons we're having our talent issue right now. Giants have done best when they've let the talent come to them.

What's more, I have a feeling they've done best when drafting into the strength of a draft (William Joseph, and boy was the DT strength and illusion in the 2003 draft), rather than chasing what they think is a shortage in the draft.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Vishal Desai said...

Its strange that its worked out this way, because I interpret the Giants philosophy as that they trade up when a player with an extremely high grade is available- a grade so high that the value greatly exceeds the value of the picks they would otherwise keep. But they've swung and missed badly on those.

When they've had to draft for Need they've generally done well. Pugh was a huge need. Nicks and Phillips were too...and you can argue for Prince (though he also was surprisingly available).

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Kalel9 said...

I think sometimes they blow it by either over thinking it or believing they can't go wrong. It really has been best when they let the draft come to them.

They also have some sort of institutional belief that what you and I might consider additional picks are somehow "extra" picks. I remember them using the term extra after they traded up for Moss and one of the others.

But those really are additional picks.

One of the times that they moved around and it worked was way back in 2001 when they picked Will Allen then traded back and got Will Peterson. For awhile that was a darn good pair of young corners.

I'd like to see us get two terrific young OL's out of this one.

At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Phil in WNY said...

Viewed another way, at some point, the probabilities suggest they'll get one right - even if by accident. I continue to believe that Nassib is going to be a good one.

Also, it looks like the moves in free agency are partially designed to allow the draft to come to them instead of forcing need picks. Optimism doesn't cost anything so I have a feeling that this year's draft is going to be a great one.

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't the poor trade-up selections symptomatic of their recent misses with non-1st round draft picks, particularly in the critical 2nd-4th rounds?

After the season, John Mara seemed to dismiss these failures as the result of reaching (iow, boom/bust picks that busted at an unexpected rate), but it remains to be seen if that is correctable by the current personnel or merely a post-hoc rationalization. The other issue is whether or not he is having too much influence in the draft room.


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