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Giants’ John Mara: 2016 NFL Draft more important than usual

New York Giants president and chief executive officer

New York Giants president and chief executive officer John Mara speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

As the Giants prepare for the upcoming draft, the team’s co-owner made it clear once again that he expects results from the process.

“Every draft is important to us,” John Mara said on Wednesday, “but I would say this one more so than usual because we’re picking so high and because we’re coming off of three-and-a-half lousy years. It’s time to pick it up here.”

The Giants have not made the playoffs in four seasons (they were 6-2 and comfortably in first place at the midway point of the 2012 season, which is why Mara referenced the 3 1⁄2 years) and have had three straight losing records. Much of that disappointment can be traced to a series of bungled drafts that left the team’s roster without a core of young, talented players entering their prime years. Recent drafts have yielded somewhat better results — the Giants have selected three starters on their offensive line and superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the past three drafts — but Mara clearly wants more.

He’s been vocal about that since the end of last season, when he oversaw the head coaching change from Tom Coughlin to Ben McAdoo and said it was on general manager Jerry Reese to fix the problems on the roster. To that end the Giants spent over $200 million in free agency rebuilding their defense with four key signings — defensive end Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, defensive tackle Damon Harrison and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul — and adding depth at other positions.

That spending spree goes against the team’s basic philosophy of building through the draft, one Mara would like to return to.

“We spent all this money in free agency, I think we got better, but we’re still not there,” Mara said. “We need some impact players coming out of this draft.”

The Giants have the 10th selection in this year’s draft, which begins on April 28. They have six total picks in the draft.

Mara spoke at MetLife Stadium on Wednesday where he and Jets owner Woody Johnson announced that Paul McCartney will hold a concert there on Aug. 7.

New York Sports