Among other issues, most of us can point to the 2009-2012 drafts being mostly awful all around as the main reason our team from 2012-2015 was not that competitive. Yes, Nicks and JPP were two of the main reasons we won the Super Bowl...wouldn't trade that for anything. But the point remains that the drafts as a whole were quite dreadful. You could argue the 2015 team was talented, but we still ended up 6-10 and had one of the worst defenses in NFL history. You can't sustain success over time without consistent drafts.
Flash forward to the 2013-2016 drafts, and here's what we have:
Pugh (5 years on the team, possibly resign)
Hankins (possible resign after 1st contract)
Beckham (no comments needed)
Richburg (good all around center, could improve to pro bowl caliber)
Kennard (good starter)
Flowers (jury still out, but could develop into a good all around LT)
Collins (stud pro bowler)
Hart (good depth guy and possible starter)
Apple (looks to be a stud CB)
Shepard (starter/great weapon in the receiving game)
Thompson (starter, but jury still out)
Goodson (possibly starter this year)
Perkins (flashed as rookie, more touches this year)
Is the jury out on some of these guys? Yes. But hell at least they can play. We've gotten 2 starters out of each of these drafts starting from 2013. That's a pretty good average. If Reese can get another 2 starters out of this draft, I think he will have done a really good job of turning over the roster from what it was at the end of 2012 (awful) to what it is now, mixed with draft and free agency.
We need to hit on 2 high caliber players in this draft to compelte the overhaul. Can we hope for 4-5 hits like last year? Maybe - but that is probably unlikely. I'd sign up for 2-3 high quality players in a heartbeat.
I for one, am attending the draft this year and really looking forward to it. Because of the hype surrounding the defense last year, and what should be an improved O, the draft this year could really put this team over the top. As of now, I did a three round mock using CBS rankings but still chose who I thought was best based on the 10 or so players available in that range. I stopped after round 3 because I really don't know enough about the guys in the draft after the 3rd round. Here it goes
Round 1: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Peppers can blitz, chase, and cover, and basically play anywhere except on the D line. I have a hard time believing that Reese would pass on a guy like this if he was available at 23. I think he's in the top 10 best players in this class. He'd also immediately be our punt return man, providing more explosion there where we have had next to nothing for a good while. Throw him into the mix to this defense and it adds to an already special unit.
Round 2: Dion Dawkins, G, Temple
Simply put, a plug and play OL for the next 5 years. I chose between him and Dan Feeney who was also available. I went with Dawkins because he's athletic enough to also be in the mix at tackle. Giants will love his versatility and his upside at G being very high. Throw him into the mix with the guys on the OL right away and see what comes out. If nothing else, he's a starter in 2018 if he somehow cannot beat out Jerry from the get go.
Round 3: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Was torn between this pick, but JJSS has great work ethic, loves football, and has very good size to win over the middle. Reminds me a lot of Nicks coming out, same body type, with big hands to snatch it out of the air. I can envision him and OBJ on the outside with Shepard in the slot for years to come. Although he's not 6'4, JJSS has similar traits to a guy like Marshall, who wins with physicality and not always quickness. Also known as a polished route runner. For whatever reason I can see JJSS being a lot like Pierre Garcon at the next level.
So that's it - I get the sense Reese will want to add a playmaker on offense and defense early in the draft, and still want to add to the OL mix if the board falls right.