The more I think about it. The more I have to believe that Justin Pugh really was the highest rated player on our board. Yes, more highly rated than Rhodes, Floyd and quite possibly the 2-3 highest rated OL in the draft.
Please understand, I make know insinuations that I know what JR is, was or has ever thought. I am merely connecting the dots. From where I am sitting the farther you trace the dots the more one name comes into focus. A very controversial name, especially here at BBV. No, it isnt some FO executive... or somebody that has moved on to better situations... It was someone we "Lucked" into. It is our one and only....
Let me explain before you guys bring the Axe down on me.. To help you recall, DD was drafted in the 5th round of the 2003 draft. He has played every position on our OL at least once, been apart of Tiki's record year by playing 2 different positions. He has been a part of both recent Super Bowl Victories. What makes him so special? Versatility? His Croatian roots?? his excessive drinking?? If you answered Versatility, you get a point. what ever kind of point you want to call it. You are also on to something. The very same train of thought that led me to Pugh.
When the Giants lucked, yes lucked, into DD in the 5th round, they didn't quite understand what they had. He wasn't great at any individual thing but decent all around.. GY and JR took him for granted... Well, JR had taken him for granted... JR took him for granted, until he started trying to find someone like him.. First came Koets.. After then after many failed FA conversions, we grab Beatty just to sure up LT. After the Ohara and Seubert left, JR amped up his search for quality OL. We resigned Boothe, signed Baas and grabbed Petrus, who was supposed to be the new DD. Petrus flamed out.. throw in a couple more FA additions the next year and draft Brewer (what was the word we got on him??? oh that he could move all around the line).
Following me yet?? well, in 2012 we grab McCants and Mosely who are supposed to be late round Gems meant to be able to do what DD did. All this while, DD is playing LG to RT to LT...
All this while DD is showing us... just how lucky we really are to have him.
JR sees this.. he has been searching for a quality Tackle that can play anywhere on the line. Then comes along Justin Pugh.. JR see's that he gave up only .5 sacks and 3 pressures for what amounts to be just over half a season. Puts him with a possible first round grade. Things change when they interview him in the offseason and see just how intelligent he really is. They go back review the tape. Study him. Realize something.
Justin Pugh is exactly what JR has been trying to find for the better part of 6 years. Someone just like DD but better.
Hence JR is looking at this draft with DD goggles on, he sees Justin Pugh in a way no other GM sees him. Not only is Pugh a starting T in the league, he is a starting OL regardless of position. Pugh is the real deal. The Platinum version of DD. I am quite certain if the Giants picked 3rd, Pugh would have been their pick. Only the Giants would have known what they are getting. No other team really has a DD. No other team would have known.. at least right away.
I have been one of the biggest detractors of DD since his decline... But I realize this... that I was wrong. That we were lucky to have DD on this team in 2003 and we are lucky enough to have him show us to a better version of himself.
Pugh was BPA because JR knew what he had before it was gone.