When the Giants re-signed Ramses Barden to a one-year deal last week, the 6-6 wide receiver returned to the team that drafted him in 2009.
ESPN senior NFL writer John Clayton writes about the Class of 2009 and how it has fallen short of expectations. As Clayton points out, with Barden's signing, there are only 60 players from the '09 class still with their original teams.
"That number could drop significantly next year because 33 of them are potential free agents. Free agency normally gobbles up a good portion of draftees once rookie contracts expire, but the key to building any franchise is retaining good draft choices. Unless something changes, the 2009 draft will be considered a crack in the building process for most teams."
So that got us thinking about the Giants' 2009 crop and who's left standing from that class. Of their nine picks that year, only four players remain on the roster.
First-round pick Hakeem Nicks, one of their two second-round picks Will Beatty, one of their third-round picks in Barden and fourth-round pick Andre Brown are with the Giants. Second-round pick Clint Sintim recently retired due to knee injuries and third-round pick Travis Beckum is a free agent on the mend from his own knee injuries.
Nicks turned out to be a gem at 29th overall. Nicks has been the top receiver the Giants hoped he would become. But Nicks has been slowed by injuries and he enters a pivotal contract year. The Giants want to sign him to an extension. If Nicks doesn't sign an extension before or during the season, the wideout will look to play his best, raise his value and try to strike it rich next offseason. It's imperative the Giants keep Nicks with Eli Manning.
While Sintim, taken 45th overall, didn't pan out at linebacker, the Giants found an anchor at left tackle in Beatty. The team recently re-signed Beatty to a five-year deal worth as much as $38.75 million. He's been solid and still has room to grow and get better.
Due to injuries and lack of playing time, Barden hasn't realized the potential the Giants saw in him when they took him 85th overall out of Cal Poly. He flashed that potential last year in a start against Carolina with nine catches for 138 yards. But he's been buried on the depth chart and returns this year to provide depth again.
Brown saw his first significant playing time last year and rushed for 385 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games before breaking his leg. Like Barden, Brown shined in a start against Carolina with 113 yards and two touchdowns. He hopes to take another step forward this season and compete with David Wilson for the starting job. The two backs could share carries. Brown excelled as the team's goal-line back last year and should handle those duties again. The confident and charismatic Brown is gunning for some seriously lofty numbers.
Here's the Giants' 2009 draft:
1. (29th) WR Hakeem Nicks
2. (45th) LB Clint Sintim
2. (60th) T Will Beatty
3. (85th) WR Ramses Barden
3. (100th) TE Travis Beckum
4. (129th) RB Andre Brown
5. (151st) QB Rhett Bomar
6. (200th) CB DeAndre Wright
7. (238th) CB Stoney Woodson
Let us know how you think Jerry Reese did with the '09 class -- which picks you liked and which picks disappointed you the most.