Mara was clearly embarrassed by the way the Giants were schooled in the trenches last season and publicly stated the team would be addressing the problem in the offseason. Linebackers and cornerbacks aren't the answer to that issue, so the team took the best offensive lineman in front of them and followed it with a huge defensive tackle.
I'm not sure how much a Khaseem Greene or Arthur Brown would have contributed to the Giants this season anyway. The Giants would probably only use them in their base defense, which is about 60% of the snaps in a normal game, employing the three safety look the other 40%.
Then they would have to beat out Spencer Paysinger, Keith Rivers and Jacquian Williams to even get on the field. Many feel that would have been a slam dunk. I don't. If they needed a LB in this draft, it was a middle man not another OLB like Greene. And they signed two LBs after the draft that are sleepers, but could they could hit big on one of them.
My concern is the lack of a cornerback in this class. In this day and age of the passer, teams have to focus on their secondary every year. They signed Aaron Back in free agency, and who knows, he may be a better this time around but they should always take a corner in the draft to keep that unit fluid. They did sign Charles James of Charleston Southern after the draft, a highly-reagrded player who could seriously compete for a roster spot.
I'm grading the overall draft a B. Taking Pugh is like drafting three players instead of one. He can play tackle, guard and center. For those who have ever run a business, versatile employees are a valuable asset. Pugh is a leader-type as well. They nailed this one, folks. Not sexy, but absolutely necessary.
Hankins is huge and will shed his durability issues via the Giants' strength and conditioning program. They also will not play him more than 60-70% of the snaps as part of their rotation system.
Damontre Moore could be the next Osi or DeMarcus Ware if things go well. The Giants will rein him in and get him on the right path, but he has to be ready to meet them halfway.
Nassib is what it is. He's both a longterm and longterm solution at QB. For the team to trade up to get him, that has to tell you something. For his old college coach (Doug Marrone, now with Buffalo) to pass over him for another QB (EJ Manuel) in the draft, tells you something different. As the Giants have stated, they hope Nassib isn't forced into action for a long time.
The other guys are odd and ends. Eric Herman, a nasty guard out of Ohio, could be your next Richie Seubert. Safety Cooper Taylor, at 6'5", could be the Giants' answer to negate the mismatches created by opposing TEs. Michael Cox is a big, fast RB that the team feels could make their club as the third RB.
We will be rehashing these picks as well as the UDFAs in the coming days. My advice to Giant fans is to not dwell on who the team didn't draft, dwell on the ones they did and how they'll help the Giants get back to the Super Bowl.