Instant Reaction: Giants select Justin Pugh, OL, Syracuse


Jesse Bartolis is not enthused by the Giants' selection of Justin Pugh in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

More like Justin Puke (not really, but that was too easy)! I'm disappointed in this pick, but am more surprised. In the live draft chat thread someone wrote "Justin Pugh" has been mocked to the New York Giants, what's the percentage that happens?" I responded, "well I never say never, but I'd guess about two percent."

The pick from the Giants perspective makes sense with how they value offensive linemen. They like linemen who are versatile and Pugh is a smart offensive linemen with quick feet who projects at both guard spots and possible right tackle, but he has short arms, and doesn't have great size. He also played in the Big East, which they've avoided for a time.

I'm more disappointed because at the beginning of the draft process I said I had three absolute ideal picks for the Giants -- Sharrif Floyd (media made that sound highly improbable), Xavier Rhodes, and Alec Ogletree. I was bursting with excitement that all three were actually available and I'm surprised -- really surprised that the Giants didn't take Rhodes. He profiles so well to what the Giants look for: height, weight, speed. Plays in the ACC, and was very productive.

I'm most disappointed because I tried to get to a profile of all the guys I thought the Giants might consider in the first round and missed out here.

Lastly, I think this pick can put to rest the Giants draft BPA on board myth? That was the seventh offensive lineman taken off the board, but he was a guy who was fairly well thought of around the league. This is from Bob McGinn talking with scouts. The third ranked guard in the draft.

3. JUSTIN PUGH, Syracuse (6-4 ½, 304, 5.15, 1-2) - Three-year starter at LT. "He is short-armed (32), and he does play short-armed," one scout said. "Everybody wants to make him a guard because of that. That's fine. Maybe. I like bigger, thicker guys at guard. I'll make him a center. I was thinking about guys like Max Unger or Trey Teague, somebody that made the tackle-to-center switch. You can get away with shorter arms and less mass at center." Graduated with a degree in finance in 3 ½ years. "One of the smartest guys I've (scouted) in 12 years," another scout said. "Like a coach on the field." From Holland, Pa. Played in a pro-style offense. "He came into our room at Indy and told us he was a left tackle, which I'm sure his agent told him to say because they make the most money," a third scout said. "He doesn't have the feet to play out on an island. He is ornery. Good technician. He's high intangibles. He bends well enough. He's a second- or third-round guy that will be a solid player for a long time."

Based on what is left on the board I really dislike the pick, I would have been good moving back and grabbing Pugh, but I have to say I'm not overly excited and it should be noted that the fact Kyle Long went off the board with the next pick that Pugh might not have been available later. Do I think Pugh will be a cog in the line for the next 10 years? it's definitely possible, but I'm not sure he's ever a game-changer. But I do hope that I'm eating crow in the future.

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