What they're saying: OL Justin Pugh
May, 9, 2013
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesJustin Pugh adds depth to the Giants' offensive line.Rookie camp starts Friday so we're taking a closer look what Giants' brass said about each prospect.
First-round pick: OL Justin Pugh, Syracuse
Here's our Rapid Reaction and what the Giants said about their first-round pick:
Marc Ross: "He has the skill set to play anywhere along the line, and whatever our coaches feel is the biggest need to put him at next year, I think he can do that -- from left tackle to center to right tackle to guard ... because he’s so smart, so technique-sound and so athletic, it’s definitely a positive to be able to do that.
"In a year, who knows what our needs will be. Just having a guy that even during a game, if your center goes down, he can go in there and move wherever you want him to go. And there’s nothing wrong with having a top notch left tackle, if that’s what he is ... He did it (played multiple positions) at the Senior Bowl. He played a bunch of different positions at practice and during the game. And then his intelligence, he had one of the higher test scores this year."
Tom Coughlin: "I have been asked, ‘Do you think it is time for you to take a hard look at your offensive line in terms of young talent?’ Well, there always is. Some years it is just not available to you. [Pugh] is a very technically sound player ... So versatile, smart, technically sound... a guy that we think can grasp the system right away and be in a position to help us out as a young player in a position that is not easy to play right away. And that is the offensive line at the professional level.
"We will assess our depth and see where we think we should start him out. He has been a tackle. I would expect him to stay there. Whether he goes over to the right side or not, and how fast he goes over there -– we will have to decide ... We certainly saw the bowl game in which [Syracuse] did a tremendous job of rushing the ball. But there have been numerous games where that good young quarterback (Ryan Nassib) had big days as well. So we have been able to see [Pugh] as a pass protector and as a run blocker and have been equally impressed."
Jerry Reese: "I watched a lot of tape on him because I saw the 32-inch arms and I was like, ‘I’m going to find something wrong with this guy,’ and there’s nothing wrong with him... The thing about him when I [wrote] my notes: productive. This guy is really productive. Technical in the run game. He’s high percentage on pulls, on second blocks, on downfield blocks. You get excited about a guy that brings all that to the table because a lot times when you get offensive lineman they are a little bit one-dimensional. This guy is technically sound on all levels. He’s got that finish ability that you like in your offensive linemen.
"He doesn’t really have any warts on him like off-field issues or he’s not a good athlete. He was a clean guy. He had everything you look for. He’s not an aircraft carrier. He’s not that guy but he’s a big solid football player and you win with those kinds of guys. We’ve won a couple Super Bowls with David Diehl, a solid football player, with Kareem McKenzie on the other side, a solid football player. You win with those kinds of guys, our kind of guys."
Analysis: The Giants love guys who can play multiple positions on the line like Diehl and Kevin Boothe. It allows them to maximize roster spots and have depth. Pugh provides insurance in case C David Baas or LG Chris Snee experience setbacks in camp coming off offseason surgeries. Pugh should be given an opportunity in training camp to show what he can do at right tackle, the one spot open for competition on the line. The coaching staff, though, may feel more comfortable going with a veteran like Diehl or James Brewer. In 2014, though, Pugh could start with Boothe and Diehl both playing on one-year deals.
Tell us what you think of Pugh and what the Giants should do at right tackle.