The New York Giants' selection of North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin is a roll of the dice by General Manager Jerry Reese on an extremely talented player with a checkered past, evidenced by his suspension for the entire 2010 season. The pick is, largely, playing to great reviews around the Inter-Google.
- "Great value pick." -- USA Today
- "And the Giants land another steal who inexplicably falls" (Grade: A) -- Walter Football
- " There's no denying his talent." -- SB Nation
There is also no denying the risk. Austin comes with plenty of questions not only about the 2010 suspension, but about his effort. The Giants, of course, are fully aware of all that.
"We did a lot of work on him. He was very highly rated on our board. The value was tremendous at that point," Reese said. "Again, we did a lot of homework on him. We couldn't pass him up."
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the team had "probably seven or eight of our people" at Austin's North Carolina Pro Day.
"He wants the opportunity to prove a lot of people wrong. The fact that we do all kinds of tests on people and those tests were very good. A lot of people substantiated the fact that although you do have to have some borders in place, he's basically a guy that's sharp and, if focused, can be a very good football player," Coughlin said. "I think anybody's a risk. Until they come in and prove exactly what they can do, there's risk involved for anybody. But we're in a high-risk business."
Simply from a 'value' standpoint this looks like a tremendous pick for the Giants. Draft Countdown had Austin ranked 39th, Great Blue North 37th and CBS Sports 39th on their respective big boards.
Austin seemed to say all the right things Friday night after his selection.
"I feel like I am one of the best athletes that was in the draft and I feel like I'm just ready to go and perform and get a chance to play the game that I love so much," he said. "I don't think I am a big risk. As I said, the things that happened are in the past. Now I am ready to be a professional."
The Giants are banking on the fact that Austin will back up his words. The Giants, obviously, believe this is a risk worth taking.
My Grade: A ... Simply based on the belief that Austin is a first-round talent who could be as good as any tackle in this class, if he plays to the ability scouts think he has. Pretty amazing to find that with the 52nd pick.