Justin Pugh remembers his draft party

May, 7, 2014
May 7
11:00
AM ET
Justin Pugh wasn't in New York last year for the NFL draft, but if you saw the video of him taking the phone call after the New York Giants took him No. 19 overall, you already knew that.

Pugh
“Just the elation of having your name called, the relief at finally hearing it,” Pugh recalled in a phone interview Tuesday. “And knowing where you’re going to be. My mom was worried I’d be picked by Seattle and play all the way across the country and she’d never see me again.”

Pugh's in New York this week, making the rounds as a spokesman for a new beard trimmer by Conair for Men. He said he has no regrets about skipping last year's draft.

"At the beginning of the process, I was projected in the third round," Pugh recalled. "So even though, by the time the draft came around, you were hearing maybe end of first round, maybe earlier if there was a run on tackles, I just felt it would be better to be home with my family and friends than sitting around waiting up there."

The video is a priceless illustration of draft-day elation, as Pugh talks on the phone with Tom Coughlin and other Giants officials while his friends try to contain themselves in anticipation of the dogpile that awaits Pugh once he hangs up. Pugh said he remembered spending the rest of the night sitting around with his friends saying, "The Giants!" as though they couldn't believe it was all real, and that his friends kept bugging him to call his agent and find out how big his contract was going to be.

"It was a great experience for me. I wouldn't change it for the world," Pugh said. "It was one of the most rewarding things I've ever experienced."

Pugh started 16 games at right tackle for the Giants as a rookie and is slated to start there again this year.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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