We have looked at first-round draft grades from a variety of sources around the Internet. We know, however, that what you really care about is what your Big Blue View staff writers think of Thursday night's selection of offensive tackle Ereck Flowers by your New York Giants at No. 20. So, here you go. The 2015 NFL Draft grades from your Big Blue View writers.
The only reason for this grade is because I felt strongly that there were other players that I would have liked more. That being said, Flowers is a prospect with extreme upside and is capable of starting Day 1 at right tackle. I can't say it'd be guaranteed, but I'd bet Metlife Stadium that there's no way he's sitting there for the Giants at 40. I truly think he was the best player available for the team, so I can't knock them for reaching.
He's got technique issues, especially in pass protection. That worries me. The hope is he can get some of them out of the way by the end of training camp. He's still growing into his body at 21 years old. He's a powerful, powerful guy and plays with bad intentions. The offensive line gets another upgrade and anything that helps this offense become more dangerous is fine by me.
To me in this draft there were only a handful of clean, elite prospects and not coincidentally they all went before the Giants pick. Those were Vic Beasley, the two wide receivers, Dante Fowler Jr., Leonard Williams,and Brandon Scherff. After that the best three on-the-field prospects were Shane Ray, Randy Gregory, and Todd Gurley. I would have loved either Gregory or Gurley, but I completely understand why they were not chosen, so there's a handful of guys the Giants could have gone with here who all represent similar value to me.
The Giants filled one of their biggest needs and if Flowers starts the season at right tackle the Giants will hleft guard, Richburg upgrades Walton at center, Schwartz upgrades Jerry at right guard, and Flowers upgrades Pugh at right tackle. Talk about a make-over. Add in the return of Victor Cruz and the addition of Shane Vereen and the Giants have a legitimate chance to be the league's best offense. Let's not talk about the other side of the ball, but this pick represents fine value to me (again most of the other guys left were just "first rounders-and not "red-chip" players) and filled one of the Giants' two biggest needs. As a bonus, I got the pick right -- neener, neener, neener!
Best player available is a myth and rarely actually something this team follows through on. This is the first pick in the draft that seemed like a reach, and I'm okay with reaching, but something just doesn't sit right with me on this one. Considering T.J. Clemmings and Jake Fisher both fell out of the first round, I think this team could have addressed this area on Day 2 rather than burning a top 10 pick on a guy I'm not positive beats out John Jerry for a starting spot right away.
However, Ereck Flowers is only 21 years old. By the time the Giants have to decide on his fifth year contract option, he will only be as old as Justin Pugh is right now. It's clear this is a pick for the future. Flowers is still a little rough around the edges and will need a lot of coaching to get field-ready, but the Giants have the luxury of not desperately needing offensive line help and can take their time to make sure they're not thrusting an unpolished rookie into the line-up too early.
I can't say I'm a fan of the pick. I understand it though. I see the upside and the fit. However, Flowers has a bunch of faults that need to be fixed. I'm likening this to the Pugh pick from a couple years ago, though the two are polar opposites as tackles coming out.
I think Flowers plays guard while his movement and technique issues get worked out. But, with time and good coaching, he has a chance to develop into a starting tackle, and that's the biggest reason why I gave this a C."
Valentine's View (B)
If you have been reading Big Blue View for the last several months, you know I was locked in on the idea that the Giants' preference would be to use the ninth pick to solidify the offensive line. That, of course, is what they did by selecting Flowers.
The pick absolutely makes sense, considering the players already off the board. Flowers has everything the Giants look for -- size, power, aggressiveness, elite measurables, upside, character. He is a Jerry Reese draft pick through and through. If he develops into a quality tackle -- right or left -- this becomes an excellent pick. The major issue is Flowers' youth and the reality that he is more of a developmental player than you might like to get at No. 9. The Giants didn't pick a player in the top 10 to have him sit and learn, so he will play. The question is, how much will he struggle initially while the Giants try to develop him?