If you were watching the Thursday Night Football game between the Chiefs and Chargers, you would know. More importantly, if you were a regular reader of this NY Giants blog, you would have known about C Creed Humphrey on April 21, 2021, a full 8 days prior to the start of the draft and 9 days before Humphrey was selected. We’ll return to Mr. Humphrey a little later, but first some timestamps.
As a reminder, when it comes to the Draft, most do not have the courage or track record to highlight what they said when they said it. In terms of being accountable for what we say, that is why we blog (and tweet). There is a record, timestamps. Twitter is microblogging, and since they timestamp each tweet precisely, it is a great way of not only maintaining a record of what you said BUT WHEN YOU SAID IT.
The record begins in 2011. Twitter was a relatively new medium at the time and that was when we used it the first time live during the NFL Draft. In fact, we were at the Draft in NYC reporting for GMC along with John Fennelly.
2011: LT Anthony Castonzo. 10 Year Franchise Left Tackle. 144 starts, taken 3 picks later at 1.22 by the Colts. Note how my tone will change this decade from one of “surprise” that the Giants wouldn’t do the obvious thing in 2011 by replenishing an aging OL, to one in later years where we are reduced to imploring.
2012: LT Cordy Glenn. Solid 8 year Left Tackle. Taken by the Bills 9 picks later. Ever hear of that LB (sic!) Lavonte David? Konz busted. Can’t be perfect. But make no mistake, we WANTed Cordy Glenn because of the atrophy at OL.
2013: LB Alec Ogletree. Justin Pugh was not our choice because, remember, the Giants reached for him as a Tackle/Guard and we thought he was ok as a Guard. You can see the reactive desperation of Reese here. Fwiw, our prediction of a 10 yr Guard was incredibly accurate. Pugh is in his 9th season with Arizona and 110 starts. Ogletree was a very good LB for the Rams in the first half of his career before eroding. His 106 starts and 9 years in the NFL are nonetheless an affirmation that he delivered.
2014: LT Taylor Lewan*. He gets an asterisk because he went 1 pick ahead. Who would you rather have, Taylor Lewan or Odell Beckham? The crazy thing is that, as good as Beckham was, did he truly help this organization? The Giants hit the (generational) Lotto with a Round 1 WR and he still did not turn this franchise around. Btw, we were wrong about Donald and Martin (being so good), but note that we were willing to trade up 1 spot for Lewan. And for the Giants, Lewan would have been the best LONG TERM team-building answer. 3 time Probowler, 95 starts.
2015: LT Ereck Flowers. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. But if we cherry picked all of our good stuff and omitted the bad, how reliable or credible would that record be? Wonder’s eval was incorrect (although he believes he was not coached up properly, with some of that perhaps vindicated in Flowers becoming a serviceable Guard in Washington). We take our lumps here though, we got it wrong.
2016: LT Laremy Tunsil. So many mistakes by Reese and this organization. Jerry Reese chose Eli Apple instead. And he lost his job because of this massive ginormous travesty. Tunsil? Franchise Left Tackle. He went to the Pro Bowl twice AFTER being traded to the Houston Texans for massive trade booty. Note we take Tunsil even after Flowers was taken in 2015. WE DO NOT CARE. OFFENSIVE LINE. OR SENTENCE YOURSELF TO A DECADE OF SH**.
2017: LB Reuben Foster. Domestic violence charge. Torn ACL after promising rookie season. BUST. FYI, we liked the talent of Engram but hated the “toys” over “boys” selection because Engram was not a blocking TE.
The Reuben Foster pick is a classic example of why you have to account for all of what you say, when you say it. This is an honest verification of every draft, how it unfolds. If someone is sharing only their hits without showing you their misses, it is meaningless cherry-picking. How do you think Bernie Madoff was so perfect year after year, decade after decade? Because he wasn’t. The misses validate the track record. We have verified our drafting track record before. How many draft analysts show you their hits AND misses?
2018: NOT RUNNING BACK. Apologies for any excess arrogance, but this might be one of the greatest tweets of all time. Barkley is still at Penn State. We have zero clue exactly where the Giants will be drafting in November of 2017 for the April 2018 Draft. AND DAVE GETTLEMAN IS NOT EVEN THE GIANTS GM FOR ANOTHER MONTH. The Easter Bunny is a better selection at 1.02 overall than a RB, and I do not care that we would have taken Darnold or Traded Down. Slam dunk perfect draft tweet 5 months before the draft.
2019: EDGE Josh Allen. There was no Offensive Lineman to pick at 1.06, so we saw the player and the need at EDGE. What did the Giants do? They overdrafted Daniel Jones. See the previous post for nailing that one too. Two and a half years later, Mark Schlereth gave the same reasoning we gave on Draft night for why the Jones pick was flawed. Back to Allen, JAC took Allen 1 pick later at 1.07. 2019 All Rookie Team, 2019 Pro Bowl, hurt in 2020, 2021 AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 9. He is on a garbage team in a garbage market, but he is a Football Player.
2020: Trade down slightly and take Wirfs, Becton, Thomas, or Wills. I am happy the Giants got a very good player in Andrew Thomas. Our first choice was to trade down a little bit and take any of the four terrific Tackles to maximize the value. That Wirfs was taken at 1.13 should be a reminder of how you win Super Bowls. Incredible value. Oh Btw, not for nothing, but Ezra Cleveland was taken at 2.58 by Minnesota and has been a Starter every game this season at Guard. Staple.
2021: Round 1 Trade Down. Gettleman nailed this. And so did we. UltimateNYG Draft Analyst Wonder nailed this so badly, asking to trade down with Chicago at 1.20 weeks ahead of the Draft.
2021: C Creed Humphrey in Round 2. So we finally get to the reason why we posted, Center Creed Humphrey. We won’t waste anymore space with our opinion of NOT taking Wide Receiver (Toney or anyone else) in Round 1. LT Darrisaw would have been where we would have gone. But let’s move on to Round 2. The Giants had the 10th pick (2.42, Twitter typo), and traded down 8 spots to 2.50. Jenkins (taken 2.39) was now gone. The order above was still applicable…
Okay, okay, they took EDGE Ojulari, and we were very very happy. Our #2 preference. But look who was the #1 preference. Center Creed Humphrey. He ended up being taken at 2.63 by the KC Chiefs, 13 picks later, and in his rookie season he is already a star. Imagine what he would have done to the Offensive Line, with Thomas coming into his own at Left Tackle and Creed Humphrey DOMINATING (yes, DOMINATING) at Center?! Why do you think we were so high on Humphrey, willing to take him as a backup, not great value, at the tail end of Round 1?
Humphrey has given up 1 sack his entire rookie season, playing nearly every play for the Chiefs, 979 snaps. Forget just going to the Pro Bowl. He is on track to be ALL-PRO as a rookie. That is right, Center Creed Humphrey is one of the best Centers in all of Football as a rookie. Pro Football Focus has him as the #1 Center in the entire NFL. He grades out a full 6 points ahead of Jason Kelce of PHI and Corey Linsley of LAC, who are in second and third overall. Humphrey is an absolute mauler in the Run Game, and his Pass Blocking is excellent. What do you think this guy is going to look like when the game slows down even further for him? Ridiculous. Center is one of the most important positions in the game. NFL GMs are still under-rating what a Guard and Center can do for your team. He is a big part of KC’s resurgence in the second half of the season. And according to Joe Buck, Humphrey is already the Leader of the KC Offensive Line. That’s right, the line that protects Patrick Mahomes.
What is the message here? That we are always right? NO! We are not always right. In the last 11 drafts we have gotten it right most of the time, with 9 correct and only 2 misses. The message is that you prioritize OL and the players are there. If you are ill watching QB Justin Herbert while Gettleman overdrafted Jones, you need to get even more ill watching Creed Humphrey as a fixture of the Chiefs for the next 10 years. It is not a pipe dream to get these kinds of players. It is a pipe dream when you have lousy GMs who think that Offensive Line was not there in the 2021 draft, despite their efforts to “try” to add. That’s who Creed Humphrey is. The guy who wrestled in High School and was dominant at Oklahoma. The guy who is dominating as a rookie in the NFL. The guy that Gettleman (… Chris Mara?) said wasn’t there for the Giants and who we said was. It is time for the next Giants GM to seriously prioritize OL or else we are in for another 10 years of wandering in the desert.