They were both great prospects but the Giants went with the guy who they had higher on their board and someone who adds a dynamic ability to this offence.
Earth - Wind - Fire 2.0
Jennings - Wilson - Williams
LT (132.5) -> Strahan (141.5) -> Osi (75) -> Tuck (60.5) -> JPP (28.5) -> ???
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I disagree with the notion that the Giants had ODB at #3 WR. Hopefully, they learned from the recent past in this area and had the scouting department hold a wide receivers ability to go out and grab a football as it's primary skill it's looking for.
We had already drafted I believe once before that way with Nicks. Wasn't the fastest, or the smartest, but had wonderful hands and could catch anything.He gave us some great plays while healthy and motivated. Where we failed in that draft was Reese grabbed Barden too. The problem with Barden was he only flashed that skill - he was more just tall. It wasn't a shock to me that he's washed out over the years.
The surprise to the organization was Cruz. Undersized, but he could just plain ball hawk - we all saw that in that Jets game - and run. And he was an UDFA.
Lessons to be learned here?
1. We didn't need to draft guys for the slot.
2. We needed to find guys that could catch the ball.
We ignored that - braking both lessons - drafting JJ in the 3rd. Great athlete, not so much of a ball hawk.
Randle, at least conceptually as an outside reciever, showed a great deal of that same hawking ability - so we took him in the 2nd. I get this pick, and Randle's fate is yet uncertain.
So that lead to the 2014 drafting where we tried to get our mind right. So we went out and grabbed ODB. I think the giants would have had the ball hawk skill set over Evans height or even Watkins speed. It's possible the Gmen had ODB as the #1 WR.
Compare an every down, ball hawking outside WR with the entire package of maturity, speed, athleticism, and route running (ie intelligence) to an undersized DT that may only be used on 3rd down because he'll get washed out against the run - it's a no brainer. So good call by the Gmen on that, ihmo.
The two guys ahead of Beckham had great hands too. Evans in particular came away with more contested catches than I can remember. Beckham has the higher drop rate among the three.
Manningham wasn't a natural hands catcher either. Randle was far from a ballhawk. That was his biggest issue. At 6'3'', he didn't fully extend for the ball as you would have liked. Jernigan was more of a hand plucker than Randle even at his diminutive size.