EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese admitted Thursday that he “probably looked at more quarterbacks” this year during preparation for the 2017 NFL Draft. Other than that small revelation, Reese was his typical self during his annual pre-draft press conference.
He said multiple times that he would take the “best player available,” said the Giants would “keep our options open” about trading up for a player they love and that he would not reach for a player just because they think they have a need at a specific position.
Let’s look at some of the specific takeaways from Reese’s remarks.
Offensive line a target? Reese won’t say
Of course, the GM was asked if he would focus on the offensive line in the draft. Of course, he deflected.
“We feel like we can use help anywhere, any position. We just want to create a lot of competition at every position going into training camp.”
Film more import than combine
As much as players tend to, at least in the eyes of the media, move up and down draft boards Reese said the important part of the evaluation is what players do in games.
“We try to put it all together. We look at what the players do on the field, we grade the players on the field,” Reese said. “The gymnastic stuff they do at the combine, that’s part of the equation, but we look at these guys as football players first. We just go on our experience as scouts and try to look at the player more than what they gymnastic numbers say.”
Guard or tackle for D.J. Fluker? Reese isn’t saying
Reese wouldn’t commit to whether Fluker would be a guard or tackle for the Giants, saying that will be up to coach Ben McAdoo and the offensive staff.
“D.J.’s going to come in and battle for a position just like everybody else. Hopefully a change of address and a new scene for him will re-energize him. I know he wants to prove that he’s still a No. 1 type talent.
No commitment to Ereck Flowers at LT
Right now, it looks like the Giants will be sticking with Ereck Flowers at left tackle. Reese, though, would not commit to that.
“There’s a long time before we play. In the spring we’ll experiment on different lineups and situations with our offensive line. We’ll tinker with a lot of things in the spring.
About the “best player available”
Reese did acknowledge that value and need play into how a team judges who the best player available actually is.
“We try to tie both of them together. We’re not going to reach for guys just because we think it’s a need.”
On the possibility of trading up
“If there’s somebody up there that we love, we think we’ve gotta have, we’re dying for and we’re willing to give up our draft picks to move up to get him we’re open to doing that. ... If you do that you’ve gotta give up draft picks and we don’t like to do that.”
On losing Johnathan Hankins
“I’m never surprised by anything in free agency. Money talks. We’re big Hank fans around here and we wish him well.”
On drafting a quarterback
Reese was asked a number of questions about potentially drafting a quarterback next week. Here is some of what he said.
On Geno Smith: “Geno’s on the roster and he’s going to have a fair share to compete like everybody else. We’re excited to have him.”
On how soon a QB might play ...
“You just take the best player available however he fits on your roster. You can take a quarterback high, you can take him in the seventh round, wherever you take him you hope everything falls right for them and if they have to play you hope it’s the time for them to play.”
“You just never know. We think Eli (Manning) has some good years left.”
“It’s hard to bring guys out of college and to play up here. It’s such a different game ... you have to limit what they do. You can’t give ‘em everything at the beginning.”
On how to evaluate college quarterbacks ...
“We just look at what their skill set is and look at what we like to do and see how many guys have that skill set and when do we think they could be possible picks for us.”