In 2008, the New York Giants will defend their Super Bowl title as they try to improve on their 2007 10-6 record. An average record and still a Super Bowl victory? What a time of low expectations. However, who can blame the Giants? 2007 was supposed to be the year of the undefeated Patriots, as they entered the Super Bowl field with a score of 18-0. The Giants defeated the Patriots in one of the biggest upsets in professional soccer history. As the 2008 season approaches, you could say the Giants don’t have much to rise to, but they still have a lot to gain. They could win this season and show that last year’s victory was no fluke, or they could take the season off, happy to have stolen their greatest achievement from the Patriots.
Don’t count on the Giants getting complacent though, as they have consistently played for the past three seasons and made the playoffs every year. In any case, 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, selected seven athletes who they considered the best draft picks available. Did NFL fans and experts agree?
The first pick in the draft was safety Kenny Phillips of 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 linebacker Bryan Kehl of Brigham Young University. Finishing off the standard draft picks were Vanderbilt University linebacker Jonathan Goff and University of Kentucky quarterback Andre ‘Woodson. Defensive end Robert Henderson of the University of South Mississippi was chosen after the Giants traded running back Ryan Grant to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for an extra pick in the sixth round. They would have had another draft pick, but decided to trade it to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for position kicker Lawrence Tynes.
Going into the draft, the Giants’ greatest need was in the secondary area, which is why most experts agree that Phillips and Thomas were the ideal first-round draft picks. Phillips is believed to be ready for a starting position, while Thomas has a promising opportunity sometime along the way. Manningham has remained a subject of controversy both on and off the field. While he has a very unique “Super Mario” style acrobatic ability, he has been enduring some scrutiny for his drug use. He’s the type of player who could sink or rise quickly, 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 ambitious. Some fans wonder why the Giants didn’t try to draft an offensive lineman candidate throughout the draft. So as long as the inside line stays healthy and injury-free for the rest of the season, it may not be a problem.
Overall, the reception of the Giants draft was positive as their most crucial needs were addressed. The Giants may not have finished stealing Super Bowls yet.