New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese held his annual pre-draft press conference today, and he touched on a variety of draft and other offseason topics. Excerpts are below, and the full transcript is on the 'Transcripts' page.
Q: Do you think the moves you made in free agency free you to pick the best players in the draft?
A: Not really. We never do that anyway. We never try to reach in the draft. We’re conscious of what we think our needs are, but we try to pick the best player in the draft. We do try to fill holes in free agency when we get an opportunity to do that, but we never say let’s get a certain position in the draft. We just try to pick the best player.
Q: Are there positions that you don’t like to take in the first round?
A: No. If there is a good player there, it really doesn’t matter what position it is. It would be hard for us to take a kicker or a punter, something like that, in the first round, but any other position, if it’s a good player, we’re not opposed to taking anybody in the first round.
Q: How do you approach picking at 32? It seems like there’s more gray area.
A: I don’t think it’s more gray area when we pick at 32. You just wait and see if somebody is going to fall to you or if there is somebody you may be able to move up for, that you’re in love with. It’s always a good problem to have when you’re picking 32. More likely, somebody we have ahead of our 32nd pick in our first row, more than likely somebody will be down there where we want to pick. Again, at the bottom of that first row, we think those guys are second round picks, unless we have somebody pretty high that falls. But we’ll see. We could easily have somebody fall down. I think guys are going to come off the board all over the place early on.
Q: How confident are you that Bradshaw can put his foot issues behind him?
A: I don’t know about that. I’m not a doctor, but he’s had problems, but he always seems to get out there and play. But he’s had different procedures. Hopefully he’ll be able to stay more healthy than he’s been in the past. Usually in a big game he always plays and he always plays tough.
Q: Are you happy with how your linebackers stack up going into the draft?
A: We’ll see. I think we have some good players at that position and we brought in a couple of new guys as well to get into the mix. We’ll continue to look for linebackers, just like every position. But we think we have a good group of linebackers.
Q: Is Boley in the middle really a possibility?
A: He plays middle linebacker in the nickel a lot for us anyway. I think he can play any position. We like our linebackers to be versatile, to play different positions. I think he can play any of the linebacker spots. I think Rivers can play any of the linebacker spots. I think the young guy, Jacquian, I think he’s a WIL, though. I think he’s an outside backer just because of his size. But he could probably play SAM in some schemes as well though. We like those guys to be versatile. They’ll play all over the place. That’s the coaches job to figure out where they play. It’s our job in personnel and my job to try to find a lot of players to give them some choices to pick from
Q: What’s reasonable for Chad Jones?
A: Again, I’m not a doctor. Personally, I think he has a long way to go. He’s rehabbing. If you see him on the field, you’ll see him rehabbing more than in drills with the players during OTAs and things like that. We wanted to get him here, have our doctors see him, have our trainers put their hands on him, evaluate him and see where he is. Just me personally, I think he still has a ways to go before he gets out there and plays in the National Football League.
Q: Does whether you do or don’t have Osi change the way you look at this draft?
A: We’re just going to try to draft the best player as we can find. Osi has a year left on his contract. He’s not a free agent. We’ll try to address as many of those situations – Osi’s situation and other situations that we have – moving forward. It’s a long time before we play, but the draft stands alone by itself really for us. We try to pick the best players available in the draft and then at the end we see what we still need and we try to fill some holes after that.