A lot of people like to give an immediate analysis of the draft, but as the last Giants GM George Young said many times, you can't judge a draft until three or four years down the road. In most cases, he's right. But there is one sure-fire way to get a grade on this one in a much shorter time frame.
Make something out of Phillip Dillard.
The way I see it, Dillard is the lynchpin to this entire draft. Not Jason Pierre-Paul, not Linval Joseph, not Chad Jones.
Those first through third-rounders are going into units that should already have their starters set. With Pierre-Paul's and Joseph's limited experience against major college competition, each will likely serve in a rotational role up front. And Jones may well make his biggest impact on special teams as Kenny Phillips, Antrel Rolle, and Deon Grant handle the bulk of the safety responsibilities.
But Dillard is a different story. He comes into a middle linebacking situation frought with uncertainty. He, out of all the draft picks, is the one who can make an immediate impact if he can show more than Jonathan Goff, Gerris Wilkinson, or Bryan Kehl in the minicamps and training camps.
He had a checkered career at Nebraska, having 2008 cut short by an ankle injury and suffering a torn ACL that caused him to redshirt his sophomore season. He lost his starting job at the start of 2009. But he regained it, and was said to be responsible for allowing second overall pick Ndamukong Suh to make plays that wouldn't have been made with a middle linebacker who drew less attention than Dillard. And just reading Dillard's quotes, one can see he's got an Antonio Pierce-like chip on his shoulder, which is a good start.
If Dillard can move right into a starting spot and develop himself into a run-stopping, pass-covering leader like Pierce over the next year or two, this entire draft will have been worth it. The Giants have generally had a good track record with those later-round draft picks, so the odds of Dillard succeeding are hardly outrageous. But the 6-foot, 245-pound middle linebacker has to back up his talk on the field now.
If he can do that, you can slap a big, red "A" on Reese's whole draft, regardless of how the others fare.