Yardbarker Horiz

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dominik vs. The NFC Champions: Offense

Congratulations to the New York Giants, NFC Champions for the 2011-2012 season!  I am very jealous, and want the George Halas Trophy in Tampa so badly.  Are the Buccaneers on track?

General Manager Mark Dominik has stayed the path of building with youth and only adding the occasional free agent.  Many fans have "Fantasy Football Syndrome", where free agents cost a few dollars, there is no salary cap, and statistics strictly determine the worth of a player.  This season, all Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans got a good look at another factor which Fantasy Football does not consider: team chemistry.

So, does real life NFL success match the philosophy of the Buccaneers GM?  Time to dissect the 2012 NFC Champion New York Giants and see what we can learn.

NY Giants Offense
The Offensive two-deep for the New York Giants:

QB Eli Manning - Draft Day Trade (2004); has only been a Giant
QB David Carr - Free Agent (from 49ers, 2010; 2nd stint with the Giants)
RB Brandon Jacobs - Drafted (4th Round, 2005); has only been a Giant
RB DJ Ware - Undrafted, 2010; has only been a Giant
FB Henry Hynoski - Undrafted, 2011; has only been a Giant
WR Mario Manningham - Drafted (3rd Round, 2008); has only been a Giant
WR Hakeem Nicks - Drafted (1st Round, 2009); has only been a Giant
WR Victor Cruz - Undrafted, 2010; has only been a Giant
WR Jerrel Jernigan - Drafted (3rd Round, 2011); has only been a Giant
TE Jake Ballard - Undrafted, 2010; has only been a Giant
TE Travis Beckum - Drafted (3rd Round, 2009); has only been a Giant
T Will Beatty - Drafted (2nd Round, 2009); has only been a Giant
T James Brewer - Drafted (4th Round, 2011); has only been a Giant
T Kareem McKenzie - Free Agent (from Jets, 2005)
T Stacy Andrews - Free Agent (from Seattle, 2010)
G Chris Snee - Drafted (2nd Round, 2004); has only been a Giant
G Mitch Petrus - Drafted (5th Round, 2010); has only been a Giant
G David Diehl - Drafted (5th Round, 2003); has only been a Giant
G Kevin Boothe - Free Agent (from Oakland, 2006)
C David Baas - Free Agent (from 49ers, 2010)

That is:
1 Trade
4 Undrafted (College) Free Agents
5 Free Agents
10 Drafted

Of the half the players on the New York Giants offensive 2-deep who were drafted, only Hakeem Nicks was a first round draft choice.  The draft choice breakdown is:
1 First Rounder
2 Second Rounders
3 Third Rounders
2 Fourth Rounders
2 Fifth Rounders

This is a unit built through the draft.  With only five free agents and one traded player out of 20 players.  Four of the five free agents are on the offensive line, while the fifth is the backup quarterback.

Half the drafted players were "middle round" picks, and all of the draft picks were selected in the fifth round or earlier.  None of the draft picks have more than eight years in the NFL; that is, this unit was eight years in the making.

The composition of this group does follow the philosophy of General Manager Mark Dominik, starting with drafting a quarterback to build around in Josh Freeman:  Eli Manning is the oldest draft pick on the Giant's two deep.  Building through the draft and going light on free agents can (and does) produce a championship squad. Clearly, the Buccaneers are on the correct path.  Sometimes this produces lightning in a bottle:  In 2007, the New York Giants won the SuperBowl with the lowest payroll in the NFL.

But this is only half the story.  Next up is a look at the defense.

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