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Giants deserve credit for handling draft day curveball

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Perhaps no team was dealt a more significant draft day curveball than the New York Giants. Marc Ross, the team's vice president of player evaluation, told reporters that "it played out kind of like we thought it would," but we wonder how much of that was meant to perpetuate the unflappable persona needed by executives in the midst of a crazy night.

Either way, he and general manager Jerry Reese deserve a commendation for keeping their cool and selecting Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple. Apple, who will play in between Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, immediately puts the Giants in the conversation for the best secondary in the division.

"When you have two corners in this league, you're short one," Reese said, via The New York Post. "We think we can play with anybody around the league with these three kind of guys."

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Why do they deserve credit? Based on various reports, and a few conversations with sources knowledgeable of the situation, the Giants preferred Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd -- so much so that the Bears knew how to neatly and tidily trade up one spot ahead to snag him at No. 9. The Giants also wanted another offensive tackle, but there are several working theories as to why the Titans ended up swooping back into the top 10 to get Michigan State's Jack Conklin at No. 8 – two picks ahead of the Giants at 10. Perhaps Conklin was their guy all along. Maybe the Laremy Tunsil situation threw them for a loop as well.

The Giants were left with Tunsil, a tackle believed by many analysts to be the best overall player in the draft, or the choice to swallow hard and stick to their draft board. Tunsil was in the middle of a freefall due to a video that popped up on his allegedly hacked Twitter account moments before the draft started.

They ended up selecting a player that many deemed a reach.

"We've heard it before. We've taken other players that (were called) a reach. Nobody knows. If you get a dime for every expert, I could retire," Ross said. "Come on. Experts? People analyze. People have opinions. What's it based on? Nobody has seen the tape. Nobody goes to practice. Nobody puts in the work like the scouts do. It's easy to second-guess and pick and say get everybody's pick right and tell them what they should do, but you've just got to put in the work and trust what you do."

But it is not a reach to bet on three first-round picks at cornerback, two of whom are over six feet tall. In the absence of a desired pick, the Giants made a push to strengthen a unit that was already getting better thanks to an aggressive push in free agency. The Redskins, Eagles and Cowboys will all have more dynamic passing offenses than they did a year ago and their selection is their best effort to combat that. It was a situation that could have forced some panic, but this shouldn’t be labeled a panic pick.

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