Former Giants’ center and Super Bowl champion Shaun O’Hara – currently an analyst for NFL Network – recently shared his thoughts on the how the NFC East teams graded out in this year’s draft.
He gave the Giants a ‘B,’ which is a solid assessment. The Giants addressed a need along the offensive line by drafting Justin Pugh from Syracuse and also selected some other talented players, like defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins from Ohio State and defensive end Damontre Moore from Florida State, who could have an immediate impact.
On Pugh, O’Hara said, “I thought it was a great pick-up for the Giants. The reason why I say that is because Pugh represents versatility for them. He can play all the positions.
“Yes, he played left tackle in college, but he can move over to right tackle. I think that’s where he’s going to start out. Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin both talked about how he has the ability to play guard. He’s athletic enough to move inside. He can even move to center if they need to.
“When you look at Chris Snee, David Diehl, David Baas, that right side of the line and the center position, they’re all three coming off surgery, so it gives them an opportunity to now a plug a guy in and provide youth along with that versatility. So I like this pick. Eli was the least sacked quarterback in the NFL last season, so I think that helps him out.”
O’Hara’s other grades for the NFC East are as follows: Eagles ‘A,’ Redskins ‘B,” and Cowboys ‘C+.’
The Eagles took offensive tackle Lane Johnson from Oklahoma in the first round. O’Hara called Johnson the most athletic tackle in the draft who will be a key contributor on the Eagles’ line. If Michael Vick is the starter, Johnson will be protecting his blind side.
Philadelphia also selected Stanford’s Zach Ertz, a tight end with an athletic frame who will be expected to be a big target in the red zone.
As for the Redskins, they didn’t have a first-round pick after trading up last year with the Rams in order to select Robert Griffin III. The Redskins used four of their seven picks this year on defense, which was a glaring need.
Cornerback David Amerson from N.C. State gives Washington’s defense instant credibility, O’Hara said. O’Hara also liked the pick of Florida tight end Jordan Reed, since Fred Davis’ status is uncertain following an Achilles injury.
Finally, O’Hara graded the Cowboys’ draft the lowest of the bunch. Dallas traded down and selected Wisconsin center Travis Frederick.
The center position was actually a major need for the Cowboys, and O’Hara said that Frederick can be a consistent interior lineman for Dallas. He said that is something Tony Romo needs desperately.
The Cowboys went on to add San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar and Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams. Both aren’t exactly positions of need for the ‘Boys.
O’Hara’s grades are definitely fair, and let’s even hope the Giants’ draft class outperforms its grade.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.