GEICO SportsNite has reaction from Giants general manager Jerry Reese on his plan for the upcoming NFL draft. The Giants appear to be leaning towards taking an offensive player in Round One, possibly a lineman.
Reese stated that QB Eli Manning, who underwent ankle surgery last month, would not practice until training camp. The GM also said no decision would be made on S Will Hill, who is facing a stiff suspension after failing yet another drug test.
“The Will Hill situation, there’s an appeal process and we’ll respect that process as it plays out,” said Reese. “We’ll make some decisions after that after we see what the appeal process is.”
Is tight end on the Giants’ draft menu? Read after the jump.
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Giants GM Jerry Reese has always been very cagey when answering questions about the team’s draft strategy. He sticks to his standard company line: Take the best player available.
“I look at drafts as we’re trying to find seven good players for the Giants,” Reese said at his presser Thursday at QDTC. “We think there will be seven good players. I’m not sure if there’s great receivers or great running backs or great linemen, I just think there will be seven good players for us.”
Who those seven players will be and when they will be picked are still to be determined. Asked if free agency had any effect on what they do in the draft, Reese denied that it did.
“It really doesn’t have a lot of effect on it, Reese said. “The draft is what it is, it stands alone. We try to take the best players we can in the draft and really, in free agency you try to fill some holes, but in the draft you just try to pick the best players. That’s what we try to do.”
CEO John Mara has said the team needed to take fewer risks in the draft. Reese was asked of that was the mindset going into next week.
“You try to limit what risk you take but any time you pick a player, there’s a risk,” said Reese. “There have been can’t-miss players and people have missed drastically with players. We try to get more right than we get wrong but nobody is batting 1.000 in picking personnel.”
So what does that mean? Is is business as usual, then?
“You try to pick the cleanest guy possible in your first few rounds but you get later in the draft, guys have some warts to them in some kind of way in respect to injuries or maybe some off-the-field issues. You feel like you can take a risk on some guys, some talented players with some risk in the latter part of the draft. You try to limit the risk with the first part of your draft.”
Tight end has been identified as a need. North Carolina’s Eric Ebron, who grew up a Giant fan and has expressed a desire to play here, has rumored to be high on the Giants’ draft board because many see him as a fit for new OC Ben McAdoo’s offense.
“Everybody needs a play-making tight end,” said Reese. “I think all offenses… you want a playmaker at every position if you can. I’m not sure what you’re asking me when you say that. I think every team wants a Pro Bowl-style tight end, they want a couple of Pro Bowl wide receivers, they want a Pro Bowl running back. Sure, you’d like a big, strapping tight end….We have a couple young tight ends and it’s time for those guys to develop and play. Obviously we’ll continue to look as we move forward. We want to get good players at every position.”
When it was mentioned that the Giants had traditionally relied on their tight ends and played a prominent role, Reese balked.
It was then mentioned the tight ends caught some prominent passes in the past.
“Yeah, well, we think we have some tight ends who can catch some important passes. Prominent role? We want all of our positions to be prominent roles. I’m not sure if we had, if our tight ends had prominent roles in the past. We want a competent tight end. We think we have a couple of young tight ends that have been here for a couple of years that we want to develop and we’ll continue to look as we move forward.”
As for offensive lineman, Zack Martin of Notre Dame has been mentioned as a draft target of the Giants. Reese was asked if he sees Martin as a guard or a tackle.
“I just see him as a good offensive lineman. That’s how I see him. I think he has some flexibility to play both but I just see him as a good offensive lineman.”
Can he play center, do you think?
“I’m not sure. I don’t think he’s ever played that position for Notre Dame. It probably could be a possibility that he could play center, yeah.”