Since 2007, the New York Giants have won two world championships while the Indianapolis Colts have... none. A big reason why is the spectacular draft record of Giants G.M. Jerry Reese, and the rather putrid record of former-Colts president Bill Polian during that span.
Yes, from 2007-2011, the Colts made the playoffs four times. They also played in a Super Bowl. However, their overall playoff record during that stretch was 2-3, with three one-and-done trips.
The Giants made the post-season only twice during that same stretch. Both times, they won the Super Bowl.
No matter how much we argue, the Giants are indeed more successful during that span than the Colts. Team greatness is based on championships, and a franchise that makes the playoffs only twice in five years, but wins the Super Bowl during both those trips, will be viewed as having a better five years than the team who seemingly got to the playoffs every year, but did little when they got there.
So, how did New York get so good? Simple, they drafted better than Indy did.
I'm not using this article to bash Bill and Chris Polian yet again. They are gone, and part of the reason they're gone is they didn't draft well from 2007-2011. Meanwhile, the Giants have been making a killing in the draft since roughly 2004, when they made their now famous trade with the San Diego Chargers for Eli Manning.
That trade helped define two franchises. The Chargers have been a consistent playoff disappointment under the direction of Philip Rivers, the player they got in exchange for Eli. The other players they received in compensation for Manning (kicker Nate Kaeding and linebacker Shawne Merriman) didn't do much to help San Diego in the playoff wins department.
Since 2004, these are NY's first day draft selections:
2004- Eli Manning
2005- Corey Webster
2006- Mathias Kiwanuka
2007- Aaron Ross
2008- Kenny Phillips
2009- Hakeem Nicks
2010- Jason Pierre-Paul
2011- Prince Amukamara
There are not misses on that list. Not one. Eli is a franchise quarterback. Webster and Ross are excellent corners. Nicks has played brilliantly since he arrived in NYC, as has Jason Pierre-Paul.
It's worth noting that, in 2005, the Colts had a chance to draft Webster, but opted instead for Marlin Jackson. In 2009, the Colts were in prime position to take Hakeem Nicks, but opted instead for Donald Brown.
It's also worth noting that, in several cases, the Giants were drafting late in the first round, but still managed to find good talent. Nicks and Phillips were both late first rounders. Webster was a high second rounder. New York didn't have a first round pick that year because of the Manning trade the season prior.
Every single person on the NY Giants draft list, with the exception of the rookie Amukamara, is a starter in NY. Not just a starter simply because they were a first rounder. A legit starter.
Factor in other players like Justin Tuck, (fifth rounder 2005), Barry Cofield (fourth rounder, 2006), Steve Smith (second rounder, 2007), Kevin Boss (fifth rounder, 2007), Ahmad Bradshaw (seventh rounder, 2007) Mario Manningham (third rounder, 2008), Terrell Thomas (second rounder, 2008), and Jonathan Goff (fifth rounder, 2008). I mean, look at that draft haul! Tuck and Bradshaw are studs. Manningham was been a big play receiver all throughout the 2011 season, and made THE key catch in Super Bowl XLVI. Thomas is a good corner, while Smith, Boss, and Cofield were all key players for the Giants before moving on to other teams.
Also, there were important rookie free agent acquisitions like Victor Cruz (free agent, 2010), and Jake Ballard (free agent, 2010).
THIS is how your team is supposed to draft. This is why New York has two trophies in five years, and we have bubkis.