New York Giants Smart To Avoid Offensive Skill Position Players With First Pick


The New York Giants made a selection with the ninth overall pick that some people will say was a stretch, but in the big picture, it was a perfectly executed plan as the Giants avoided the temptation of adding another skill player on offense in favor of playing it safe and drafting for need.

The New York Giants handled their first overall pick as well as they possibly could have. As expected, top defensive lineman Leonard Williams and Dante Fowler were off the board when the Giants were on the clock. Probably unexpectedly, Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff went prior to the Giants as well, as the Washington Redskins snatched him up. This could have caused a problem for the Giants, a team that normally selects best available and not for need, as the best players available were widely regarded as wide receivers and running backs.

Passing up on players such as Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker and Georgia running back Todd Gurley was probably not easy, but it was the right decision for the Giants to make. Adding Parker would have given the Giants some insurance for Victor Cruz, but putting another first round pick into a WR position they already have the aforementioned Cruz, 2013 second round pick and reigning Rookie of the Year winner and 2014 first round pick Odell Beckham Jr. makes little sense. It looks good on paper, but this isn’t Madden; dumping those kind of resources into one position is a poor way to build a roster.

In Gurley, the Giants would have added a supremely talented player, but one coming off ACL surgery. Counting on another player to come back and perform at the same level from major surgery would be a tough bet to make, and the Giants are probably a little gun shy about selecting a RB that early after what happened with David Wilson, their 2013 first round pick.

Like the WR position, the Giants also have a decent amount of resources poured into the RB position. Rashad Jennings was signed last season to lead the backfield, while they also used a fourth round pick on Andre Williams last season. To continue shoring up the backfield, they signed receiving ace Shane Vereen from the New England Patriots this offseason. While Gurley is arguably more talented than any of the running backs mentioned, it would have been a poor decision to use a pick that high on a position that is relatively set with a diverse group of players.

While people will argue that the Giants are lacking a big play threat out of the backfield, and Gurley would provide that, it could be argued that didn’t happen because of how poor the Giants offensive line. That in turn is what makes the Giants’ first round pick smart, even though it goes against the norm of the franchise.

In selecting Ereck Flowers ninth overall, the Giants seem to have bucked their trend a little bit of selecting the best player available. Obviously we do not know exactly how the Giants’ draft board looked like going into the night, as they could have had Flowers as a top rated player, but with the other prospects that were available I’m sure Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning were dreaming of how an already explosive offense could become that much stronger with a player such as Parker or Gurley.

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Alas, that is exactly what it was in regards to Parker and Gurley; a dream. The quickest way to a strong football team is winning in the trenches, something the Giants haven’t done in recent seasons. They know that as well as anyone, so selecting an offensive lineman, even if it is seen as a stretch by some, was a no brainer by them.

So, instead of seemingly selecting the best player available, the Giants played it safe and selected for need, a move that will pay dividends sooner than later.

Next: What possible trades could the Giants make on draft day?

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