Browsing Posts tagged Prince Amukamara

On a night where the Giants honored and celebrated each of their Super Bowl championships, the Dallas Cowboys left Metlife Stadium smiling as they topped the Super Bowl Champs, 24-17. Tony Romo made clutch throw after clutch throw, compiling 300 passing yards and three touchdown strikes. Third-receiver, Kevin Ogletree, hauled in eight passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Touchdowns aside, Ogletree made the biggest play of the night on a 3rd-and-12 just before the two minute warning. Ogletree’s reception preserved Dallas’ lead and kept Eli Manning on the sidelines.

Defensively, it was the tale of two secondaries. During the off-season, the Cowboys revamped their secondary by signing corner, Brandon Carr and drafting corner, Morris Claiborne in the first round. On the other hand, the Giants allowed Aaron Ross to walk away and must overcome another season without Terrell Thomas and a temporary absence of Prince Awukamara. The team’s best corner, Corey Webster, didn’t look too great when Ogletree burned by him for a 40-yard TD strike. In addition, fourth corner, Justin Tyron was badly, badly beat by Miles Austin on Romo’s third touchdown pass. The Cowboys were able to slow down the explosive Giant passing attack while the Giant secondary was exposed play after play. The Giants had major issues defending the pass last season; those issues may be even bigger this year.

Offensively, the Giant receivers had a tough time getting seperation against the Dallas secondary. Even though Victor Cruz caught six passes for 58 yards, his three drops will weight heavily on the minds of fans. Coming off his injury, Hakeem Nicks looked a little out of sync while tight end, Martellus Bennett scored the Giants only TD on a nifty grab. Ahmad Bradshaw rumbled for 70 yards and a touchdown while rookie, David Wilson was benched after a first quarter fumble.

Outside of the secondary, the Giant defense had a respectable evening. Jason Pierre-Paul terrorized Tyron Smith and was always in the Dallas backfield. Pierre-Paul’s penetration allowed his team mates to pick up sacks. Linebacker, Keith Rivers looked really good until leaving with a foot injury. Justin Tuck and Osi were a bit quiet, so expect to hear their names more often next weekend.

Overall, it was a disappointing night for Giants fans. Dallas did a nice job of sustaining drives and keeping Eli Manning off the field. Giant fans haven’t watched a bad performance since Week 15 (against the Redskins), so it definitely came as a bit of a surprise. Dallas’ victory symbolizes their validity in the race for the NFC East crown.  The Giants will host the Tampa Bay Bucs next weekend, a game they must win.

One last point: Jason Witten, who is just three weeks removed from a lacerated spleen injury, played tonight. I’m all for the senimental ‘tough guy’ story, but Witten didn’t help his team tonight. Witten’s run blocking was putrid and his pass blocking was even worse. I can think of one play where JPP just threw Witten to the ground and put pressure on Romo. Witten had a few catches, but he just doesn’t look right. I’m not a doctor, but spleens don’t hear overnight. I’d keep him off the field until he could give me a ‘normal’ Jason Witten performance.

Over the last two days, I have highlighted the Giants’ offensive and special teams. Today, we’ll highlight the straw that stirs the drink–the defense.

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With the NFL Draft set to kick off on Thursday night, the Giants must wait for 31 other teams to make their picks before selecting their newest player. Since 2004, the Giants have hit home runs with each of their first round picks. All eight of these players (Eli Manning, Corey Webster, Mathias Kiwanuka, Aaron Ross, Kenny Phillips, Hakeem Nicks, JPP, and the Prince) have each won at least one Super Bowl championship and have been instrumented to the Giants success. How many other teams can boast such an impressive track record?

The Prince dealt with injuries last year and didn’t make a huge impact, but the raw ability is there and he’ll have this chance to set-up this season after Ross signed with Jacksonville. Outside of the Giants, the Ravens (Michael Oher, Ladarius Webb), Packers (Aaron Rodgers, BJ Raji, Clay Matthews, Randall Cobb), and Lions (Matt Stafford, Ndamukong Suh) have posted similiar success, but do not have the depth of talent that the Giants have obtained.

While it’s nearly impossible to predict who the Giants will draft, Mike provided some draft profiles here, here, here, and here. Of note, I really, really Stanford TE, Coby Fleener. Fleener kind of reminds me of Kevin Boss and his production is something the Giants sorely missed last year. However, the Niners pick ahead of the Giants and Jim Harbough recruited Fleener at Stanford. Granted, the Niners have Vernon Davis, Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree, and Randy Moss but adding Fleener would give Alex Smith another target and blocker.

Ultimately, the Giants will likely stick to their guns and pick their best available player. Don’t be surprised if Jerry Reese drafts another high upside defensive end that turns into an All-Pro in two seasons.

Yesterday, I gave the Jets a B for their 2011 draft haul. Today, I’m going to analyze the Giants picks. The Giants got the second best value in the first round (hats off to Detroit for Nick Fairley) when they selected Prince Amukamara (aka da kid from Nebrakser) with the 19th selection. The Giants added some other playmakers later in the draft, highlighted by defensive tackle, Marvin Austin in the second round and wide receiver, Jerrel Jernigan in the third. How did the entire Giants draft class stack up though?

 

A Very Happy Amukamara Family

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Thanks to everyone that participated in our live draft chat last night. During the early first round, we had roughly 30 commenters contributing to the live feed, so thank you for that. Anyway, the first round was pretty shocking to me. Some of the trades were very unexpected. Some of the picks left everyone scratching their heads while some teams continued their year after year status quo in the draft (Looking at you, trading Patriots). We’ll go more in detail with the Giants and Jet picks later, but here’s five thoughts about the first round.

Hello, Cam.

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Only a handful of analysts thought Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara would pass through the top-15, and many top analysts had Amukamara rated in the top-10. The Giants didn’t think they had a shot at him, so they didn’t work him out, and they didn’t even bring him in for a visit.

After the jump, we’ll look at the pick a little closer and I’ll give the G-Men my first round grade.

Welcome to New York, Prince

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