Want Trumps Need for Giants and Jets at Draft - NBC New York

Want Trumps Need for Giants and Jets at Draft

Neither team addresses biggest need during three days of drafting.



    Want Trumps Need for Giants and Jets at Draft
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    All we can evaluate now is how the teams addressed their needs.

    You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need. 

    Those are Mick Jagger's words, of course, and they are some of the wiser ones ever set to music. All of us can think of times when the twists and turns of life have proven them true.

    The 2011 NFL Draft was not one of those times for New York's football teams. They focused solely on what they wanted and paid very little attention to what they needed.

    We're not going to sit here and tell you that they are idiots or dopes for doing that. There are few bigger wastes of time than the post-draft report cards turned in from every corner of the football landscape hours after the selection process concludes and years before you can actually analyze anyone's career.

    Royal Flush: Giants Land Prince Amukamara With 19th Selection In NFL Draft

    [NY] Royal Flush: Giants Land Prince Amukamara With 19th Selection In NFL Draft
    Forget the royal wedding, the Giants have a Prince of their own -- Prince Amukamara that is. Big Blue took the reigning Big 12 defensive player of the year with the 19th selection. Bruce Beck caught up with the lockdown corner moments after he became the newest member of Big Blue.
    (Published Friday, April 29, 2011)

    We actually have unrealistic hopes that this year's draft will put an end to the entire cottage industry that has sprung up around the process. For weeks we heard nothing but negatives about Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, but then he became a steal of the draft when the Patriots took him in the third round because Bill Belichick's a certified genius.

    It's all poppycock because luck plays an immense role in how all of these things look down the line. That will be true of the final reckoning on the Giants and Jets as well, which is why we'll only focus on what we know right now when discussing their choices.

    What we know about the Giants is that their offensive line has been a major reason why they have missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. Their ineffectiveness has grown as they've gotten older and more injury-prone up front and the team has ignored the need to get better at a crucial spot on their team.

    They ignored that need again this year.

    In cornerback Prince Amukamara and defensive tackle Marvin Austin, the team got talented players who dropped in the draft because of various reasons and they added several other players with intriguing skill sets. None of them will matter much if the Giants can't keep Eli Manning from playing under pressure.

    Manning was awful last season whenever pressure came into the pocket and his entire career has been marked by wild inaccuracy when the heat is on. At some point the Giants have to admit that the men who helped them to the Super Bowl are no longer good enough to get the job done.

    The Jets did fill one big need by grabbing a pair of big defensive linemen in Muhammad Wilkerson and Kendric Ellis. They had to get younger and more athletic up front and they accomplished that goal.

    But they did nothing to help a pass rush that has seriously underachieved in each of Rex Ryan's first two years as head coach. As good as the defense has been, it has always been vulnerable because quarterbacks have time to find the holes, however small, left open by a defense that can't create pressure.

    There are other issues with the Jets' selections. The team has paid lip service to the idea that they care about character, but then they went out and drafted Ellis and wide receiver Scotty McKnight. 

    Ellis faces a possible 20 years in jail for an assault and will face a jury on those charges soon. McKnight, who is a close friend of Mark Sanchez from childhood, made some pretty vile threats toward a female teacher in high school. 

    Rolling the dice on players of questionable character makes it pretty likely that the Jets will get bitten with even more force than last year's Braylon Edwards DUI arrest. That will leave them even more short-handed then the lack of a pass rush. 

    That's what we know right now. We aren't in the business of telling you exactly what's going to happen in the future.

    For all we know, 2011 will go down as the year the Giants and Jets got exactly what they needed.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.