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The 2010 NFL Draft is the future. Are the Giants still living in the past?

The 2010 NFL Draft was not your father’s Draft.  The only constant is change.  And the 3-day format is threatening to leave the Giants behind if they do not adapt. 

When we suggested that the Giants could trade down to 25-30 in Round 1 if McClain and Thomas were gone, one of the reasonable responses was- ‘hey, that is easier said than done.’  But look at the evidence below.  Why is it that the NY Giants rarely seem to trade up? or trade down? Why is that the Giants simply do not even TRADE? 

8 trades were made on Draft Day #1

11 trades were made on Draft Day #2

15 trades were made on Draft Day #3  

So all in all, 34 trades were made DURING the draft.  And when you consider that it takes TWO to tango, that means that 68 ‘teams’ made trades.  The Giants were NONE of those 68 team-trades.

Statistically speaking, if there is a trade, there is ~6% chance your team is involved.  If there are 34 trades made, there is an 88% chance you’ll be involved in at least one trade.    

You can argue that all of this trading is inefficient and wasteful energy.  You can argue that these are petulant ADHD children in need of activity.  But maybe not.  In every trade there is someone moving up and someone moving down.  The two teams who traded the most (New England and Philadelphia) are the ones who are always busy warehousing picks.  The Eagles had 10 picks coming in and ended up making 13 selections.  The Patriots made 12 selections this year including THREE second rounders.   Next year the Patriots have two 1’s and two 2’s awaiting them. 

Is quantity quality?  Perhaps.  Perhaps not.  Are we just nervous Nellies trembling with fear about the neighbor’s grass being greener when it really isn’t?!  There is more to success in the NFL than making trades.  And the UltimateNYG way of keeping of score will only be one thing- the banner at the top> the number of championships your franchise wins.  To be fair, the Colts do not trade either, and look at them.  So we understand that trading during the Draft does not mean in and of itself that you are better off.  The message here is that it has to be a tool in your toolbox.  Sometimes you need to move.  100% of the time you need to be FLEXIBLE and WILLING TO MOVE.   

Here is the rub.  It’s a freaking hornet’s nest of activity out there.  Teams are jockeying for position, playing a 100 million dollar game, using every ounce of strategy.  Teams trade because everyone is different.  It is very possible for BOTH teams to collectively come out ahead when they deal.   Positional needs and availability are constantly evolving during the draft and dictate a response.  Now that the draft is broken into 3 days, there is going to be even more trading.  Why?  Because the extra amount of time will enable teams to identify certain needs that they can meet and find other trading partners who can help them obtain their goals. 

You know what we think about predictability.  In Reese’s 4 years as Giants GM, there have been ZERO Draft Day Trades.  What that means is that teams do have an advantage in understanding where the needs are and what direction the picks are likely to be coming from.  I’ll throw a little anecdotal evidence at you: 
2010: The Eagles move up two spots in front of us at 13 and take LBer Brandon Graham.
2010: Cardinals move up and grab Daryl Washington one spot after us.
2010: In Round 7 the Eagles move one spot in front of us to take LB Jamar Chaney.
2009: In Round 5 the Minnesota Vikings move one spot in front of us to take LB Jasper Brinkley.
2009: In Round 1 the Eagles move up to 19 to take WR Jeremy Maclin.  (The Giants broke off a trade with Detroit to do the same thing at 20.)

These games are going on constantly on Draft Day.  To admit that they are not is foolhardy.  Dallas moved up from 27 to 24 to take Dez Bryant.  Why?  Because the Ravens at 25 were clearly Wide Receiver-starved and were more likely than not going to grab him.  I do not care whether the Ravens’ intentions were confirmed or not.  It was an intelligent move by the Cowboys to do that at that spot if they wanted the player, either way. 

We see sloppy trades being done often enough… last year a Round 2 pick was traded for a Round 1 pick this year.  This year the Panthers traded for the Patriots’ Round 3 pick (the 89th pick!) in exchange for the Panthers’ Round 2 pick next year.  Now will someone please tell me how our Giants can get involved in those types of deals?!!  I’ll tell you what, Carolina, if you would have called me, I would have given you the Giants’ Round 3 pick (the 76th pick) and done the same deal!  The Patriots are like a market-maker and they’ll make you a bid and an offer.  They’ll trade up AND they’ll trade down.  The Patriots did another beauty in 2008 too, giving their 3rd rounder away to the Chargers and taking their Round 2 pick in 2009.  Oh, by the way, the team on the other side of Dallas’ move to grab Dez Bryant?  The Patriots, who swapped their 4th rounder for a 3rd Rounder in exchange for moving down 3 spots.  Do you see a pattern?  You miss out on the flow when you are not involved with the bigger picture.  It is harder to make a (single) trade when you are not involved at all in this marketplace.  Trading is not evil.  It is a tool.  It is currency.  The best argument you can make for the Giants is that by remaining put, they are consistent and disciplined.  But the mounting evidence of the 21st Century is that it looks more like intransigence and denial.