With most of their other 2013 draft picks signed, the Giants have been trying to ink first-round pick Justin Pugh to a contract before the start of training camp. Though the two sides have yet to agree yet, they are apparently close to a deal, according to Jason Cole of NFL.com.
Pugh was drafted to improve an offensive line that returns all five starters from what was an extremely effective unit in 2012, allowing the fewest sacks in the league (20) and second fewest QB hits (53). The line also helped improve the Giants’ rushing attack to 14th in the league last year, which isn’t all that impressive until you factor in that they were dead last in the Super Bowl year of 2011. Despite the o-line’s success last year, Pugh has an opportunity to start at right tackle, where he saw most of his playing time during the team’s rookie camp in May, but he’ll have to beat out David Diehl, the incumbent, as well as James Brewer to do so. Even if he doesn’t start right away, Pugh will provide important depth and flexibility to the gang protecting Eli Manning as soon as he signs.