The Big Question: Will Giants pay for passing on LB, CB?
When it comes to the NFL draft, the New York Giants do things their own way. Always have.
Heading into this year's exercise, Big Blue desperately needed help at cornerback and linebacker. General manager Jerry Reese boldly ignored both positions through seven rounds.
Why? Because this is how New York rolls.
Reese sticks to his draft board instead of patching holes with lesser talent. That predictably nets ho-hum draft grades from scores of pundits, but the acid test is two Super Bowl titles since 2007.
The Giants did strengthen their defensive line with Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins and Texas A&M's Damontre Moore. In theory, a deeper front four will buy time for New York's linebackers and secondary, but ignoring those areas means the Giants might not be done adding free agents.
It's wait-and-see time in New York. Reese has plenty of ammunition to defend his draft philosophy, but critics will come a-knocking if the back end of this defense dissolves in 2013.
1. It's fashionable to label Justin Pugh, the versatile offensive lineman out of Syracuse, a reach at No. 19 overall. It made me think back to the 1999 NFL Draft, when I sat in a ramshackle Boulder, Colo., farmhouse with Matt Hogan -- a friend and diehard Giants fan -- watching New York use its 19th pick on Luke Petitgout, an offensive tackle from deep space. He started 110 games in Gotham and shut everyone up right quick. Pugh will do the same.
2. I've argued that Ryan Nassib has a better chance for career success than any of this year's rookie passers. Despite a rash of recent first-year upstarts, most young quarterbacks would benefit from a sit-and-learn session behind an established vet like Eli Manning. Will Nassib be the next Aaron Rodgers? No way. But he won't be destroyed like so many rookies before him.
3. I love tracking first-year players in Tom Coughlin's system, because nobody is handed the job in this clear-cut meritocracy. Running back David Wilson watched for most of last season because he couldn't pass protect. This year's young D-linemen might be the first to make a big impact, but they'll have to earn it.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.