NFL Draft: Filling needs, but maybe not this year’s

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

I’m not much for these “draft needs” pieces, unless they comprehensively address needs that can be filled by a can’t-miss rookie in that coming season. My philosophy is fill your immediate needs in free agency and build through the draft.

If you’re a GM and you draft based on immediate needs, you’ll always be relegated to doing so. Your team will lose and you will be fired.

Many people forget, these guys are rookies, kids. They will have so much on their plate at the beginning, it’s almost impossible to ask them – and expect them – to solve your problems out of the gate.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t draft out of need and hit on player here and there. It does happen. You just better have a backup plan, that’s all.

Here’s the reality…the Giants have had only four players start every game in their rookie season in the past 33 years: Lawrence Taylor (1981), David Diehl (2003), Barry Cofield (2006) and Justin Pugh (2013).

Taylor, of course, was an anomaly – nothing like him before, nothing like him since. Diehl was 6th-rounder who got it from Day One. Cofield was the same – a mid-round overachiever, a gamer.

Pugh is perhaps the best example of what the Giants are thinking in this draft: a player that can walk right on to field and play. Not many wanted the Giants to take Pugh. NFLN’s Mike Mayock and yours truly were the only two saying they would be satisfied with the pick.

A year later, it’s hard envisioning the Giants not taking Pugh. He wasn’t the best player on the board, but he was the right one. A team player that will give you 110% every day. He got better as the year went on, and he’ll continue to improve.

This year, I expect the Giants to do the same. It is a bit different since they are selecting 12th overall. Last year, they had the 19th pick. At 12, you can fall for some fool’s gold instead of sticking to the plan.

As a result, they may not take the most talented player in Round One. The player they pick will be one they feel is best for them, not what mock drafters see as filling an open need.

The fact is, all your draft picks should fill needs. It may not be this season’s needs, but the next season’s and beyond.  


pughs versatility was an important factor in the jints drafting him.

someone will slide that is unexpected and we will get a  quality player at twelve assuming reese doesn't reach which i don't believe he will this year.


I agree with the article. The Giants usual MO was supposedly picking the BPA, but after last year's draft, I knew that the Pugh selection had nothing to do with BPA, but instead was a pick based on need. The organization must have felt Pugh was the best available on their own draft board, but no one in the media punditry other than Mayock thought Pugh was THE best player available at that point in time, and I agreed with the pundits on that point, and still do. It's just very fortunate for the Giants and their fans that Pugh turned out to be an overachiever and performed well his rookie season.

Whether the Giants utilize the normal BPA strategy or choose to pick based on need instead, they must hit with an impact player on their 1st round pick again. The Giants can ill afford to waste a pick on someone who might take 2 or 3 years to develop, no matter how talented and high that player's ceiling may be. Should Lewan or Donald be available at #12, the Giants will have a very hard decision to make, because either player would help fulfill a need and make an impact right away, much like Pugh did for the team last year.



Mayock Matched OG Pugh with the NYG,

Out of NEED & FIT,

NOT,  BPA.....

... Mara picked PUGH, not REESE....

If LT Lewan & DT Donald are BOTH There at 12...

it's not even CLOSE,

LT Lewan in a second...

LT Lewan would be selected 1st in the 2013 Draft....

LT has a GREATER VALUE than DT....

....... Besides PROTECTing ELI,


Michael Frias
Michael Frias

@Skookaloop @spider43 Haha.  All the good picks in the past 7 years was Mara making the pick, all the bad ones were Reese making the picks.

And the skook record keeps turning....