New York Giants 2017 NFL Draft retrospective

Evan Engram: INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 23: New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) runs to the outside after making a catch during the NFL game between the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts on December 23, 2018, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Evan Engram: INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 23: New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) runs to the outside after making a catch during the NFL game between the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts on December 23, 2018, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

How should the New York Giants feel about their 2017 NFL Draft class after three years? We take a deep dive into it.

There was a great deal of pressure on New York Giants GM Jerry Reese – despite the team finishing 11-5 in 2016 – to come out of the 2017 draft with multiple stud players. After years of questionable (to be kind) drafting, Reese had left Big Blue’s roster severely hollowed out and top-heavy.

The Giants had noticeable needs along the offensive line, running back, tight end, safety, and linebacker. It wasn’t going to fill most of these through the draft, but Reese wound up doing what he’s done so many other times — neglecting the offensive line.

Reese actually decided that selecting a backup quarterback in the third round would help this team out more than filling out the offensive line, and these decisions may have been the final nail in the coffin for the embattled GM.

Original Grade

FanSided: B-

"“The Giants hit a need with their selection of Evan Engram. Since Martellus Bennett there has been a revolving door at tight end. The door is now closed with the addition of Engram.”"

Draft Class

Round 1 (No. 23)

841. . TE. Rebels . Evan Engram. 1. player

CURRENT TEAM: New York Giants

New York Giants fans and NFL analysts were all over the map when it came to the Evan Engram selection – kind of the same way they still feel about him, now. Engram dominated the SEC with his athleticism and looked to be a true matchup nightmare as he headed into the NFL, something he’s proved to be when healthy.

‘When healthy’ would be the operative phrase in that sentence, however. The 260-pound tight end with 4.4 speed has missed almost an entire season’s worth of games over the last two seasons, and there are real questions about whether he’ll be around long term for Big Blue.

Round 2 (No. 55)

DT. Crimson Tide . Dalvin Tomlinson. 2. player. 829.

CURRENT TEAM: New York Giants

One of the only other Jerry Reese draft picks to hang around through the Dave Gettleman purge, Dalvin Tomlinson didn’t always look like he’d remain in the team’s future plans. At the time of the draft, the Tomlinson pick was about the only selection that was universally applauded, as it filled the need to replace the departed Jonathan Hankins who left for the Raiders in free agency.

Tomlinson somewhat underperformed in his time at Alabama, but that’s to be expected when you’re playing around so many other high draft picks – it’s sometimes hard to make a name for yourself. Still, he was able to remain a top 60 pick based on his reputation and his early success, and Reese was very happy to land him near the end of the second round.

Round 3 (No. 87)

CURRENT TEAM: Buffalo Bills

The selection of QB Davis Webb made little sense from the jump, as the New York Giants had so many glaring holes throughout the roster. Ben McAdoo may have been ahead of the curve on Eli Manning not having much left (it’s been reported he wanted to draft Patrick Mahomes in this draft, and obviously he’d end up benching Eli in 2017), but Eli was coming off back-to-back solid seasons.

Webb played a total of one season for Big Blue and quickly signed on with the Jets after being released. After spending 2018 with Gang Green, Webb latched on with the Buffalo Bills which is where he still currently resides.

Round 4 (No. 140)

RB. Tigers . Wayne Gallman. 4. player. 879.

CURRENT TEAM: New York Giants

Another selection that was actually applauded, Jerry Reese adding Wayne Gallman in the fourth seemed to make a ton of sense. The Giants were heading into 2017 with Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen as their main running backs, and while both play their roles well the team needed a workhorse.

Gallman was effective as a rookie for Big Blue, rushing for 476 yards on a 4.3 average and adding 34 receptions for 193 yards. He only scored one touchdown though, and it was through the air. Giant fans were expecting him to only improve upon these numbers, but that hasn’t been the case as the coaching change and injuries led to Gallman falling out of favor.

Round 5 (No. 167) 

CURRENT TEAM: Miami Dolphins

A risky pick from the beginning, Avery Moss never came close to panning out with the New York Giants – and you can’t blame Dave Gettleman for this one. Moss simply never produced, racking up zero sacks and barely more than a tackle a game during his 11 game rookie season with Big Blue.

The supposedly high-upside pass-rusher actually landed with Miami and has been there ever since, although he still hasn’t tallied a sack.

Round 6 (No. 200)

. OT. Panthers . Adam Bisnowaty. 6. player. 866

CURRENT TEAM: Dallas Renegades (XFL)

Finally, in the sixth round, Jerry Reese drafted an offensive lineman. To almost no one’s surprise, the former Pittsburgh Panther did not work out with Big Blue and lasted just one season with the team.

Bisnowaty did make a second-team All ACC squad in 2016, leading some to believe he had some upside in the pros, but he never looked the part during his time with the Giants and battled injuries.

Retrospective Grade

New York Giants. 2020 RETROSPECTIVE GRADE. C-. .

Bottom Line:

Jerry Reese needed to nail this draft, and he didn’t – plain and simple. While Evan Engram is still super young and may turn into an All-Pro someday, his rookie season wasn’t nearly enough to save his job and make up for all the mistakes over the years.

While Reese has had much worse draft classes over the years, this one was the most critical as he put a band-aid on the team by spending so much in 2016 free agency, and he really needed to find four starters in this draft (no easy task, but he put himself in that spot).

Overall, it’s almost hard to believe that three players from this Jerry Reese draft class have survived the massive Dave Gettleman purge and remain on the New York Giants to this day (Engram, Tomlinson, Gallman). While the jury is still out on Engram, he’s shown he can be a star in this league if he can stay healthy – hopefully 2020 is that year.

He found two starters, at best, and he’s now unemployed.

by Charles Vitolo

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