Jerry Reese has been the architect of two Super Bowl victories and multiple playoff teams. He is largely considered one of the best general managers in the game. I'm typing this from my living room. Still, one of my favorite things about football is the actual roster building so with the platform that Big Blue View provides, and with the fact that I'm not quite ready to let the draft go ... here's what I would have done if I was running the New York Giants draft room for the 2013 NFL Draft. In three years we'll look back and see who made the right decisions.
Actual Pick: Justin Pugh, OL, Syracuse
Jesse's pick: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The selection of Justin Pugh in retrospect makes a ton of sense because of how depleted the position became after the first round, but with that being said I still don't love the pick. I'm rooting for Pugh to make a few Pro Bowls and be a 10-year starter in the league.
However, Rhodes is the player I would have gone with here. My man crush in the draft is Alec Ogletree and the Giants need to improve their linebacker corps, but Rhodes offers better positional value and would be in the same class of my 15 elite players in the draft. Rhodes is a big, fast cornerback who had some of the best metrics in the game. Rhodes is a better press cover man than he is a zone coverage guy, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't get better at it with coaching. The cornerback depth outside of Prince Amukamara is a little scary.
Actual Pick: Johnathan Hankins, DL, Ohio State
Jesse's pick: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Hankins was actually my highest-rated player on the board here, but for the sake of being different I'll take Brown. Brown was slightly below Hankins on my board, but he's a terrific player. He might only be able to play WILL linebacker in the NFL, but that doesn't matter. He will be a very good linebacker for a long time. The Giants' two biggest needs after the draft are more talented cornerbacks and linebackers, and linebacker is actually a woefully thin position on the team.
Actual pick: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Jesse's pick: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A & M
During the draft I was considering Moore as the pick in the second round and was pumped he was available in the third. He's young, but a good savvy pass rusher already. He has terrific length, tested well in all areas but the 40-yard dash at the combine, and was supremely productive in the SEC this year, and nearly as productive the year before. Moore was my favorite pick for any team in the draft.
If I had to pick a different player I like Corey Lemonier, the defensive end/outside linebacker from Auburn.
Actual pick: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Jesse's pick: Philip Thomas, S, Fresno State
During the draft I was rooting for Thomas or Khaseem Greene to be selected by the Giants. In this re-draft I already have taken linebacker Arthur Brown, so Greene would be redundant. Thomas was a ball hawk at Fresno State and the Giants safety depth is unsettling to me. I think Brown played well enough last year to warrant a shot to hold down the starting job all year and Will Hill flashed, but both are far from proven and I'd like to see more competition at the position (which Cooper Taylor might provide). There were a few other interesting players here: South Carolina DE Devin Taylor, WR Quinton Patton, and OL Oday Aboushi. I'll say that I traded up for Thomas, too, just to keep the number of picks the same.
Actual pick: Cooper Taylor, S, Richmond
Jesse's pick: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
The Giants finally go offensive line here. Picking Wagner this late doesn't bother me because I feel confident that he can be a starting right tackle. Wagner does not offer the same upside or positional versatility that Pugh does, but he is a guy who could be a very good run blocking right tackle in the NFL. Wisconsin offensive linemen are well-coached, and often find some measure of success in the NFL. Wagner played a successful left tackle for the Badgers and could even start early.
Actual pick: Eric Herman, OL, Ohio
Jesse's pick: Marquees Wilson, WR, Washington State
A smooth receiver with good size (6-foot-3, 194 pounds), He has plenty of upside as a starting outside receiver in the National Football League and that's hard to find in Round 7. Wilson didn't get along with the coaching staff in college and left the team because of it -- a player quitting because of a coach is something that scares off NFL teams -- and it undoubtedly affected his draft stock. My take is that his coach doesn't have a great reputation and I'm on the side that WIlson is not uncoachable.
Round 7 comp pick
Actual pick: Michael Cox, RB, UMass
Jesse's pick: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
Bray has maybe the best arm of any quarterback in the entire draft class. Now, he has a terrible reputation and as a result went undrafted, but with the second-to-last pick in the draft I roll the dice on Bray here. The Giants chose the well-regarded, intelligent, over-achiever type as opposed to the supremely talented, questionable character guy, but I go this way.