New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese held his annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. Reese did address the health of quarterback Eli Manning and did confirm that the team picked up the fifth-year option on cornerback Prince Amukamara. As predicted earlier Thursday, however, when it came to talking about the 2014 NFL Draft Reese read from his usual script.
Reese busted out all of his standard pre-draft lines.
- "Best player available. Draft stands alone. We’ll try to pick that guy."
- "I'm trying to find seven good players for the Giants. I think there will be seven good players for us."
- "We want to get good players at every position."
- "We just try to pick the best players."
- "We keep all of our options open."
- "We always want to have depth at every position."
- "Your first three picks you want to get some guys who can come in and contribute right away."
- "You try to limit what risk you take, but any time you pick a player there's a risk. We try to get more right than we get wrong, but nobody's batting a thousand in personnel."
Here are Reese's thoughts on some specific topics.
The GM likes the draft being pushed back a couple of weeks, saying it "gave us more time with respect to free agency. We had a lot to work through. I liked the couple of weeks extra time to get ready for the draft."
Reese weighed in on the idea John Mara raised at the end of the 2013 season that perhaps the Giants had taken too many risks in recent drafts:
"You try to limit what risk you take, but any time you pick a player there's a risk. We try to get more right than we get wrong," Reese said.
"You try to pick the cleanest guy possible in your first few rows, but you get later in the draft guys have some warts on ‘em. You feel like you can take a risk on some guys in the latter part of the draft."
On the need for the Giants to add a tight end:
"Everybody needs a play-making tight end. You want a play-maker at every position if you can. ... We have a couple of young tight ends. It's time for those guys to develop and play. We'll continue to look," Reese said.
"Everybody wants big, fast tight ends who can block and catch balls. All over the league everybody wants those guys. We like guys who are big and fast and can block and can catch."
Reese was asked about Victor Cruz recently endorsing the idea that the Giants should draft Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans. The GM said emphatically that Cruz, and any player, had "ZERO" input into the draft.
Reese said he sees Notre Dame's Zack Martin as a "good offensive lineman," but wouldn't be baited into expressing any preference for Martin versatility vs. Taylor Lewan's potential as a dominant left tackle:
"We like guys who are versatile players, but we're not gonna pass up the left tackle who we think is only a left tackle because he can't play guard or center," Reese said. "The more you can do in this league the better off you are, you may save yourself a roster spot if you have a guy that can swing from guard to tackle or from center to guard."
Reese also refused to bite on a question about whether Aaron Donald's relatively small size for the defensive tackle position would prevent the Giants from selecting him:
"We like guys who can make plays, we like big guys, we like fast guys, we like smart guys, we like tall guys. That's what we like," Reese said.