[Related: Reaction from Jesse Bartolis]
It's an interesting pick because there are a couple of ways they can go with it. Pugh played tackle in college, but his arms measured short at the combine, so the pre-draft consensus was that he might be better used at guard in the NFL. The Giants have an immediate need at right tackle, and could try Pugh there. And with starters Kevin Boothe and Chris Snee returning at the guard spots, there doesn't seem to be room for him to play guard for them right away.
But these are the Giants, remember, and they don't generally use the draft to fill immediate needs. Their philosophy is that the draft is for finding high-quality players that help them build and maintain a deep roster at all possible positions. So in Pugh, they get a guy who might be able to play some tackle and might be able to play some guard and they bring him into a situation where he doesn't have to contribute right away but has a chance to play himself into a starting role whenever he's ready for it. It's not ridiculous to think he could beat out Boothe with a big camp, and if he doesn't, and they don't like him for right tackle, maybe he hangs around as a versatile reserve until he develops into a starter.
HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants’ line may be set for this season with exception at right tackle. David Diehl and James Brewer are candidates to start and Pugh might be in the mix as well.
With Diehl and Kevin Booth both on one-year deals, Pugh likely could be a starter on the line next season.
PROJECTED IMPACT: He provides immediate needed depth for the line. The Giants feel he can begin as a tackle but can fill in at any spot on the line. Could push to start at right tackle with a good camp but biggest impact may come in 2014 as a starter.
SI.com says Pugh "projects to play either tackle or guard in the NFL, though some scouts have concerns about his strength and reach. But with that pick, the Giants are clearly building for the future. The offensive line was still formidable in 2012 -- they ranked No. 2 on the Cold, Hard Football Facts Offensive Hog Index (behind New England), and No. 4 in protecting the passer. The Giants still have many pressing holes to fill, however -- especially in the secondary.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports is not enamored with the pick. "I don't like this pick by the Giants. I see him more as a guard, and they need a tackle. Jerry Reese is damn good, but this is strange," Prisco wrote.
2013 NFL Draft Results: Justin Pugh Selected No. 19 By New York Giants - Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician
The first former Syracuse football player to come off the board Thursday was not Ryan Nassib. It was offensive lineman Justin Pugh, who went to the New York Giants with the No. 19 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.