With the #19th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, The New York “Football” Giants select: Syracuse OG Justin Pugh. GmenHQ.com did an article about Pugh going to the Giants in the second round shortly after the combine was completed. Obviously the Giants thought much more highly of him than we had first imagined. Pugh brings incredible versatility and a football IQ that coach’s love. Pugh made 34 starts at LT for Syracuse and his ability to keep the pocket clean was one of the reasons scouts thought QB Ryan Nassib could go as high as the Bills at #8, had they not traded it away to St Louis. We’ll get to Nassib in a little bit. Justin will be plugged in at guard even though he played tackle his entire college career. Scouts question if he can play tackle at the NFL because of the length of his arms. That’s okay, O-line was a need going into the draft, and that is a great way to start a draft, by getting a player than can help you from the very beginning of his career. NFL Networks Daniel Jeremiah was quoted as saying Pugh is “a better version of Andy Levitre.” Levitre just received a 6yr 46.8 Million dollar contract from the Tennessee Titans after starting his career with the Buffalo Bills. Those contracts are only given to quality players, and Justin Pugh will come at a much cheaper price than Andy, well at least for his rookie contract… Let’s take a look at what the Giants were able to do with the remainder of their picks.
#49 – Ohio State DT, Johnathan Hankins – Hankins is 4-3 Nose tackle with little speed. He knows how to push the pocket back, but has little too offer in terms of athleticism.
#81 – Texas A&M DE, DaMontre Moore – How the heck did he fall this far? Moore had 21 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in 2012! He also led his team in tackles. The Giants will use Moore as a Mathias Kiwanuka type DE/OLB. His main focus should be getting to the quarterback right away, but as he learns the ropes watch him be used in coverage much like he was as a college player. This is a perfect example of GM Jerry Reece getting the best player on the board at this point in the draft.
#110 – Syracuse QB, Ryan Nassib – Nassib, according to some draft people had a real chance of going to the Bills at 8. After that, the tumble he took to the 4th round, as well as most of the other quarterbacks was epic. Nassib was a 3 year starter in a shot gun heavy system, so he will obviously need some seasoning before he can be trusted to run the full playbook. As GM Jerry Reece said, you hope he never sees the field, but just in case Eli were to ever be unable to play, the Giants got a great kid to have as a backup.
#152 – Richmond Safety, Cooper Taylor – 6’4” 228lb safety who may be converted to OLB.. He was impressive at the East-West Shrine game which is probably why the Giants took a chance.
#225 – Ohio OG, Eric Herman – Started 51 games, almost all at guard, 36 reps of 225lbs at the combine. Will work as depth at both guard positions.
#253 – UMASS RB, Michael Cox – Cox is nothing more than depth at behind David Wilson and Andre Brown.
PASS, FAIL, OR PUSH? – PASS
The Giants once again showed how and why they are able to win championships with such consistency. By not only filling needs, but also grabbing some of the more highly touted prospects who may have fallen from their original projections. The N.Y. Giants set an example to both the Jets and the Bills on where to take your risks, and it’s not the first round. They also showed them how to create competition within your own roster that will better your team both now and for years to come, not by picking up your 5th quarterback. (JETS!) Giants fan may criticize some of these picks in years to come. The class of talent they got as a whole though is unquestionably higher than either the Jets or Bills were able to manage even with higher draft positions.
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