NFL Draft: Reactions to Day 1

Here are some reactions to the selections made by our New York Giants Saturday in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.

Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina (Round 1, 29th)

The shocker to me wasn't that the Giants took Nicks. It was that they sat tight at 29 and never used any of their 10 selections to move up in the first round. From the Daily News.

Despite all the talk about possible trades, the Giants stayed patient and ended up Saturday with the receiver they've been eyeing for months - North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks. The Giants have been in love with the 6-1, 210-pounder since his extremely productive collegiate career ended. But they had to sweat out the 10 picks before their selection, keeping their fingers crossed he wouldn't end up someplace else instead.

"That was a distinct possibility," Tom Coughlin said. "Probably from 20 on down that could've been something that happened. Fortunately it didn't. We were very much aware of that. There was a lot of phone call-type things going on in the room."

The Giants, who obviously were desperate for a receiver after releasing Plaxico Burress and not re-signing Amani Toomer, were in a precarious spot as their pick approached. Their original plan was to trade up in the first round for Maryland's speedy receiver, Darrius Heyward-Bey. But he shockingly was taken by the Raiders at No. 7. Missouri's Jeremy Maclin dropped farther than expected, but the Philadelphia Eagles traded up to take him at 19.

The Giants considered trading up, knowing that the Vikings were going to take a receiver at 22 (they took Percy Harvin from Florida), that the Ravens might take one (they took tackle Michael Oher at 23 instead) and that the Tennessee Titans, right behind them at No. 30, wanted a receiver too (they took Rutgers' Kenny Britt).

"We didn't come close (to trading up) at all," Giants GM Jerry Reese said. "We talked about it a couple of times. But again, to reach in the first round is not the right thing for us to do. We don't want to compromise the strength of our team by reaching for need too early. I think you make mistakes when you do that."

If you saw my comments yesterday you know I love this pick. Braylon Edwards would have been nice. By the way, did the Browns think they were playing some sort of crazy game of chess Saturday, moving all over the board like mad scientists? Heyward-Bey was ntriguing because of his speed.

Nicks should be a good player, and I think the Giants will wind up happy with him. Now, let's just hope he doesn't fall victim to the curse of the rookie receiver quad injury.

Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia (Round 2, 45th)

The Giants feel like they got a first-round talent in the middle of the second round with this pick. Again, here is Ralph Vacchiano.

The Giants loved the 6-3, 256-pound outside linebacker from Virginia, who had more sacks last season (13) than any other college linebacker in the country. From what I was told, they liked him better than USC’s Clay Matthews (who went in the first round, to Green Bay, 26th overall) and Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis (who went to the Rams in the third pick of the second round).

A pass-rusher was not a priority, but a play-making outside linebacker is something the Giants have not drafted and developed in a long time. And, yes, CJ, I know the last one was Jesse Armstead.

Here is Marc Ross, Giants' director of college scouting, talking about Sintim.

I don't know what (highlights) they showed (on TV), but he is a heck of a pass rusher. That is what we liked about him. He is a physical at the point of attack guy. He can really rush the passer - 11 sacks this year. He has played out of space for Virginia - played at the line as a D end and played linebacker. So he is a smart guy that can play multiple positions. The way we use our guys in various ways, he will fit in there perfectly. But he is a big guy who is physical. And he is a presence at the line.

Sounds good to me. I love the versatility of the Giants' defense, and the fact that they can move guys around to multiple places and make the offense figure out who is coming and where they are coming from. Sounds like Sintim fits into that mold.

William Beatty, OT, Connecticut (Round 2, 60th)

As the second round dragged on, I had my fingers crossed this guy would still be there for the Giants at 60. I would like to thank all the other general managers for leaving him there for Reese to snap up. Hopefully, this guy will be the Giants' left tackle within a couple of years.

Here is Ross talking about the selection of Beatty.

William, athletically, just raw athletic ability. He could have been up at the top with some of those other guys that got taken up there - really top feet for a tackle - left tackle feet. He has long arms. The kid benched 29 for having 35 inch arms; smart kid and still growing and developing as a player. A lot of upside. With our situation he doesn't have to come in right away. He can learn from those guys that we have. We are excited about his growth.

From a Giants' perspective, I like each of the picks. The only thing I don't understand is why Reese still has all 10 of the picks he started the draft with. It's simply not possible that 10 rookies would make the Giants' 2009 roster. I wonder what he has up his sleeve today.

[NOTE: There will be a second-day Open Thread launching at 10 a.m., when the second-day selections are to begin.]

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