In 2008 the New York Giants will be defending their Super Bowl title all the while trying to improve on their 10-6 record from 2007. An average record and yet still a Super Bowl win? What a time of lowered expectations. Who can blame the Giants, though? 2007 was supposed to be the year of the undefeated Patriots, as they went on the Super Bowl field with an 18-0 score. The Giants defeated the Patriots in one of the biggest upsets in professional football’s history. As the 2008 season approaches, you could say that the Giants don’t have much to live up to, yet still have everything to gain. They could go on to win this season and prove that last year’s victory wasn’t a fluke or they could take the season off, happy that they robbed the Patriots of their crowning achievement.
Don’t count on the Giants becoming complacent, however, as they have played consistently over the past three seasons making it to the playoffs every year. In any event, much of the New York Giants success in 2008 will be determined by the draft. For their 84th season, the New York Giants, still led by head coach Tom Coughlin, chose seven athletes that they considered to be the best available draft picks. Did fans and NFL experts agree?
The first draft choice was safety Kenny Phillips from the University of Miami. He was followed by cornerback Terrell Thomas of the University of Southern California, wide receiver Mario Manningham of the University of Michigan and line backer Bryan Kehl from Brigham Young University. Finishing the standard draft picks were linebacker Jonathan Goff from Vanderbilt University and quarterback Andre’ Woodson of the University of Kentucky. Defensive end Robert Henderson from the University of Southern Mississippi was chosen after the Giants traded running back Ryan Grant to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for an extra sixth round pick. They would have had another draft pick but decided to trade it to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for placekicker Lawrence Tynes.
Going into the draft, the biggest need for the Giants was in the secondary area, so most experts agree that Phillips and Thomas were ideal first round draft choices. Phillips is believed to be ready for a starting position while Thomas has a promising chance at some point down the road. Manningham has remained a subject of controversy both on and off the field. While he has a very unique “Super Mario” type acrobatic ability, he has been enduring some scrutiny over his drug use. He is the type of player that could very quickly sink or soar, in terms of success with the Giants. Kehl and Goff were seen as solid picks, while Woodson and Henderson were seen by some as a bit reaching. Some fans wonder why the Giants didn’t try to draft an offensive lineman candidate throughout the draft. So as long as the interior line stays healthy and uninjured for the rest of the season, it may not be a problem.
Overall, reception for the Giants draft was positive as their most crucial needs were addressed. The Giants may not be done stealing Super Bowls just yet.
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