As it has now been a few days since the conclusion of the NFL Draft, I will not break down each of the Giant’s picks and grade how I like them as a pick and whether or not I agree with Jerry Reese’s choice.
I would like to start out by saying that as a Giant’s fan I have followed this team closely all of my life and if there is one thing I have learned recently, it is to always trust Jerry Reese. He is one of the better NFL General Managers in my opinion, especially when it comes to drafting. It seems every year regardless of the player’s grade, he is able to find hidden gems that do perform.
First Round (19th Overall): OL Justin Pugh
Coming into the draft, it was fair to say that one of the Giant’s needs was to add more depth to the aging offensive line. Last year there was not a lot of stability at the offensive line. Prior to the draft the Giants had made a point that they were going to rebuild in the trenches. When you look back to their two recent Super Bowl rosters, both teams were strong at both the defensive and offensive line. Pugh is a very versatile offensive lineman who can play either at the guard or tackle positions. Outside of Giant’s left tackle Will Beatty, not much is really set in stone. It is assumed right now that the Giants may stick him at right tackle to offer David Diehl relief, but that is not confirmed yet. Most importantly this pick addressed a need for the Giants, and gave their offensive line versatility thatthey had previously lacked.
Second Round (49th Overall): DT Johnathan Hankins
As I discussed, the Giants had stressed that they wanted to rebuild in the trenches. Much like the offensive line was a strength, when you look at both of the Giants’ recent Super Bowl wins, the signature of both defenses was the pressure put on by their defensive line. With Chris Canty leaving in Free Agency, a hole was left at the defensive tackle position. Other than Chris Canty, the Giants have struggled to find a consistent answer at this position. Last year Linval Joseph had a nice year so we will see if he can build on that. The Giants like to rotate these guys in and out to keep them fresh so this certainly was a smart pick. Though defensive tackle was a position that should be acknowledged, the timing of this pick did arose some questions as to why cornerback or linebacker were not addressed as the timing seemed ideal given the guys who were on the board for those respective positions. Reese must have something up his sleeve.
Third Round (81st Overal): DE Damontre Moore
In the third round, the Giants stuck with their game plan and once again addressed the trenches. Here they took another defensive end. If there has been one position the Giants have had success with over the last years, it has certainly been defensive end. Whether it is Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, or Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants are notorious for drafting Pro Bowl caliber defensive ends. The pass rush was certainly not there last year and was one of the major reasons why they were not in the postseason. With Osi walking in free agency, it was even more important for the Giants to address this position given the style of defense Perry Fewell likes to run. On a whole I like this pick. Though defensive end did not get a lot of attention, it was one of the areas that the Giants did need to address in the draft.
Forth Round (110th): QB Ryan Nassib
Possibly the most surprising, but best picks of this year’s draft came in the fourth round for the Giants. Ryan Nassib, quarterback out of Syracuse was believed to have a chance to be drafted in the first round. Because of this, when Jerry Reese say Nassib staring at him in the fourth round, there could not be any more value. In the NFL it is always good to have a solid backup quarterback. Luckily David Carr has not had to start since taking the job, but has been a decent option. Let’s remember that Eli Manning still has not entered the final third of his career. Given his durability, he has at a minimum, five years left. However at a maximum he could have another eight years left, especially if he is surrounded with a good offensive line and weapons. Remember Tom Brady is 38 and still has some time left, Eli Manning is 32. Back to Nassib. He was a great value pick but probably will not serve any purpose for the Giants. My guess is he will be on the roster for the next two seasons or so, before getting traded for some more draft picks, most likely higher picks, therefore making this a great investment. Though the pick did raise some eyebrows. I believe we will look back on this pick in a few years and say it was a very smart move.
Fifth Round (152nd): S Richard Cooper
This was really the only pick that I did not like in the Giant’s draft. Though the Giants did lose Kenny Phillips to free agency, I did not consider safety being one of the Giant’s real needs. Stevie Brown really stepped up last year in Philips’ absence and looks like he could be a full time starter. Given some of the corners and linebackers still on board, both of which were two of the Giant’s biggest needs, which both went unfilled, I do question this pick.
Seventh Round: G Eric Herman
Here was simply another death pick in the trenches. As mentioned, the Giants talked about getting bigger in this draft. That is exactly what they did. They drafted four players that play on the line (either offensive or defensive). Their offensive line’s inability to stay healthy last year was a killer. Though Herman will not come in ready to be a starter, he is a good guy to develop and will probably make a couple starts this season given the age of some of the Giant’s lineman and the fact injuries always happen to an NFL team.