New York Giants: NFL Draft 2013

Rookie minicamp notes: Day 2

May, 11, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants had to run for cover halfway through Saturday's afternoon practice when thunder and lightening arrived at the Timex Performance Center field. It was the second showing for the rookies at the Giants' rookie minicamp.

The weather may have moved things around, but several of the newbies seemed to be getting more comfortable with the Giants' routine and playbook.

“The first day I was kind of thinking a little bit too much,” DT Johnathan Hankins said. “But I’m starting to relax and starting to get comfortable within the scheme of the defense and just be confident and go out there and make plays. I’m not trying to make plays that I can’t make. Just make the plays that come to me.”

CURRY ADDITION: Tom Coughlin was asked about signing LB Aaron Curry: “He worked out well for us,” Coughlin said. “Of course, he was the fourth pick in the draft. I looked at some of the grades, and the grades were outstanding. So he is anxious to have an opportunity and we are anxious to provide him with one. Hopefully, the two will meet and we will get a very talented player who can come into the Giant organization and play the way he was graded coming out of college.”

FEWELL EXCUSED: Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell left the Giants facility on Friday due to a death in his family. “We all feel very badly for Perry and his family," said Coughlin. "Perry did the best he could this week under difficult circumstances and then left out of here Friday.”

WILSON ON SPECIAL TEAMS: Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said kickoff returner David Wilson could remain a member of the unit despite more of a role on offense. “He’s tremendous at doing that, and with his expanded role, we’ll see where it leads and hopefully someone else does step up,” Quinn said. “We like to have depth in those positions. We’ll see.”

Pugh and Nassib, together again

May, 11, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- They would drive down Interstate 476 in a Ford Explorer, Bruce Springsteen on the radio, trying to pass the four hours between Syracuse and the King of Prussia Mall in Eastern Pennsylvania as painlessly as possible. Justin Pugh, the Giants' first-round draft pick, supposes he and Ryan Nassib must have passed 180 hours in the Explorer as they drove home each summer weekend before football season started.

“When ‘Jungleland’ came on, that’s when we stared going a little bit faster,” Pugh said.

[+] EnlargePugh/Nassib
Jim Owens/Icon SMIRyan Nassib and Justin Pugh
“We were big Philly fans,” Nassib said. “We’d talk about football for two hours. We’d talk about games, reminisce about old games. When you’re driving, you never know what’s going to come up.”

So they were Philly fans, but they will be changing their allegiance now that both have been drafted by the Giants. The moment that the offensive tackle realized he would keep protecting his road trip buddy in the pros, Pugh was pretty excited, and so was Nassib.

“We were ecstatic,” Nassib said. “We were pumped. We were like ‘How did this happen?’”

“I just got goose bumps,” Pugh said. “Because I said once I got drafted that whoever ends up with Ryan is going to be very, very lucky. And it just so happened that we ended up with him. He’s a great quarterback.”

Apparently, their new coach agrees. After the first of two Saturday practices, coach Tom Coughlin addressed reporters and was asked which of the rookies was starting to impress him.

“I think one of the things that continues to grow on you,” Coughlin said, “is the way the quarterback has responded to a new system and first time ever and showing some ability to lead in the huddle. And the huddle pays attention to him, and the offensive line seems to have responded pretty well to him, and he’s throwing the ball on occasion well.”

Nassib, who was projected all over the board but usually higher than the fourth round, said what happened on draft night has had an effect on him.

“It’s been big motivation, for sure,” he said. “It’s something that you really don’t talk about; you kind of keep it in. I mean, you don’t talk about it, but you play about it.”

He should get time to develop behind entrenched starter Eli Manning. That’s something Pugh may have a harder time adjusting to than Nassib.

“It’ll be weird having another quarterback in the huddle without Ryan,” Pugh said, “because, I mean, it just feels so normal. I come to the quarterback, I see Ryan Nassib. That’s something I’ve just learned to expect.”

Maybe Pugh could fast-track his relationship with Manning, if Manning just has a few hours to drive to Syracuse.

Notebook: Giants sign four draft picks

May, 10, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have signed four of their seven draft picks.

Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (second round), defensive end Damontre Moore (third round), safety Cooper Taylor (fifth round) and running back Michael Cox (seventh round) all signed their rookie deals Friday.

First-round pick offensive lineman Justin Pugh, fourth-round pick quarterback Ryan Nassib and seventh-round pick guard Eric Herman haven't signed as of this afternoon.

The Giants also announced the signings of their six undrafted rookie free agents.

Curry watches: Aaron Curry's visit continued through Friday morning as the linebacker watched the Giants go through the first day of rookie camp.

The free agent linebacker came in for a visit/individual workout Thursday, and head coach Tom Coughlin said the team had him back in Friday morning.

"He’s in for a tryout, see it where it goes," Coughlin said. "There’s interest."

The Giants are searching for veteran bodies who can help on the cheap, and Curry has not played since being waived by the Raiders last November. The fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft was limited to two games with the Raiders last season due to knee issues and has played in a total of 18 games over the past three seasons for the Raiders and Seahawks.

Nass appeal: Coughlin said Nassib made a good first impression in his first Giants practice.

At times, the former Syracuse quarterback threw a good-looking ball, completing one nice pass over the middle to tight end Morgan Newton, who made an impressive reaching catch. But Nassib also overthrew a pass that resulted in an interception.

"He did well," Coughlin said. "He was poised. Picked it up well; you don’t really have any meeting time -- sometimes you just have trouble just getting the cadence, but he did well. As time went on, he got more comfortable and got better with it. Guys started to respond and we had some good huddle breaks. He did well."
We're taking a closer look at each draft pick and what the Giants' brass is saying about the newcomers.

Third-round pick: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M

Here's our Rapid Reaction and what the Giants are saying about him:

[+] EnlargeDamontre Moore
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsDamontre Moore
Marc Ross: "Some people may have gotten scared off at the combine when he ran so slow and didn't lift that well. A Terrell Suggs, a Trent Cole, a Derrick Burgess ran really slow but played fast on tape. Things off the field that people may not have been comfortable with where he just needs to grow up. He's only 20. He needs to be a professional a little bit. He's a good kid who loves to play. Those may have been a couple of reasons [why he dropped]. ... He interviewed OK for us. But when you see a guy run 4.9 when guys are running 4.5s and 4.6s, people jump all over that number as opposed to the 12.5 sacks and 21 tackles-for-loss numbers.

"[Texas A&M] had a special joker role for him. He had his hand on the ground, he stood up. Our coaches are excited to use him in different ways. You've seen some of our guys do that hybrid role. [Mathias Kiwanuka has done both]. He has a skill set to do a little bit of both. But he won’t be strictly a linebacker for us. It'll be more of a hybrid role."

Tom Coughlin: "Damontre Moore, has great production -– 12.5 sacks [and] 26.5 over his career, 21 TFLs; a very, very good effort player on Saturday [in college]. He has some issues, I think, during the week, which we will have to address in terms of preparation and practice mentality, that type of thing. But he is young, just 20 years old.

"He has outstanding quickness. You look at his 40 time and you are going to say, well, it is not what you would think. But there was a big split in those times in Indianapolis and he does play faster than the [40] time you are probably going to refer back to. But his quickness and his shuttles were outstanding. So from me to you, he is as quick as it is."

Jerry Reese: "The defensive end [Moore], he is sacks. In three years he got 26.5 sacks, had 12.5 this past season. We were a little surprised he was up there that long with his sack production, but you can't pass guys with that kind of sack production so it was a decision we made to go and go get him right there with that pick.

"I think Kiwi has a bigger frame. Their lower body is probably similar, but obviously Kiwi has been around for a while. He's definitely matured and filled out, but there could be comparisons drawn if you look at their lower body. ... The thing I like, he plays hard. Guys that play hard, you can coach them to do the rest. He plays with a nasty streak and we think he's got a tremendous upside."

Analysis: Sounds as if Moore still needs to mature mentally as well as physically, but that is fine since the Giants are one team that can afford to wait. They have Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Kiwanuka, Adrian Tracy, Adewale Ojomo and Justin Trattou at defensive end for this season. Moore may have to wait until 2014 to make a real impact, but he could come in and contribute on special teams and even perhaps see a few snaps as the fourth defensive end if he has a good showing in camp.

Tell us what you think about the Giants' newest defensive end and what your hopes are for "Da'Monster."

Kiper grades Giants' draft

May, 3, 2013
Mel Kiper recently graded every team's draft and it appears he thinks the Giants could have done better.

Here's his explanation on how he grades based on this criteria:

" How much overall talent did a team add based on board position?
" How effectively did they address key personnel needs?
" How efficient were they in maneuvering on the draft board?

And I use my player grades as the prism. I'm well aware all NFL teams see players differently -- I might have a third-round grade on a safety many teams see as a late-round pick. That's the reality of player evaluations.

Grading Scale: In my mind an "A" means it's exceptional; a "B" is pretty good; a "C" means average, with hits and misses; a "D" means below average with some big questions. An "F" … well, I didn't have one.

Here's his grading of the Giants' draft:

Needs: C
Value: B
Overall: C+

Top needs: LB, DE, CB, OL, RB

Kiper summary: I had linebacker as a big need for them, but the Giants haven't drafted a linebacker in Round 1 since Carl Banks … in 1984. No surprise they didn't take one, but I'm pretty surprised they didn't take one at all. Justin Pugh is a pretty good player, and will start at guard. From there, the Giants fell in love with value over need in Rounds 2 in 3. In Round 2 they got Johnathan Hankins, at one time a likely Round 1 pick. Hankins runs hot and cold, but is a pretty good depth addition on the D-line. Then they got Damontre Moore, who had one of the biggest falls of the evaluation process we've seen in a few years. He had a great year, but tested out very poorly. They needed a defensive end and Moore could end up a steal. Where I question this draft is I'm pretty surprised they didn't get a corner or a linebacker. I really like Cooper Taylor, and you get a nice backup commodity in Ryan Nassib, I just hope they hold up at linebacker and on the edges. But these are smart evaluators and good coaches.

So, what do you guys think of Kiper's assessment?

What they're saying: RB Cox

May, 1, 2013
We're taking a little closer look at each draft pick and what the Giants brass is saying about the newcomers.

Seventh-round pick: RB Michael Cox, UMass

Here's our Rapid Reaction on him and here's what the Giants are saying about him:

Tom Coughlin: "Michael Cox, the good-sized running back that puts together the size and the speed. He will come in here and battle and compete. And that is what we need is competition at that spot."

Marc Ross: "Michael Cox, another guy we think is a little bit of an under-the-radar guy. If you look at his stats at UMass, they aren't that impressive, but he gets the ball and there are two guys in the backfield, he's trying to make everything on his own there. Runs hard, he's got size, he's got really, really good hands, excellent hands, got a little burst to him. We had him in for a visit, real good kid. Our coaches were impressed with him so we were happy we're getting a big, fast guy who runs hard that late in the draft."

Analysis: The Giants love guys who have tons of college production, for the most part. But for a guy who only rushed for 715 yards in 2012 at UMass and had a total of 19 carries before that at Michigan, Cox certainly caught the eyes of the Giants. They sound excited about the back they got with the second-to-last pick of the draft, and he could push Da'Rel Scott and Ryan Torain for the third-back spot. The New York Daily News also reports the Giants are going to bring in Tim Hightower for a look. So the Giants are looking to solidify that spot, whether it be with Cox, Scott or a veteran or undrafted free agent.

Tell us what you think about Cox and how the Giants' third running back spot is shaping up.

Polian: Nassib one of best picks in draft

April, 29, 2013

It was a shocker at the time when the New York Giants traded up and did so for a quarterback.

Drafting Ryan Nassib in the fourth round and moving up and surrendering a sixth-round pick for a guy that Jerry Reese honestly hopes never plays had a lot of fans scratching their heads. There were cornerbacks, safeties and (gasp!) linebackers available in the fourth round.

Personally, I like the fact that the Giants finally addressed an area that they've kind of been putting off for years. They need a young quarterback to develop and groom behind Manning. Yes, Manning never misses games -- 135 consecutive regular-season games and counting -- and could play on for several more years.

But what if he does get hurt? The thinking has been that if Manning ever gets hurt, the Giants are done (not disrespecting David Carr but Manning is the one Giant who can't be replaced right now). I understand how some of you guys are thinking. It would have been easier to swallow if the Giants had landed a young quarterback in the fifth round or later and taken a need area in the fourth.

But Nassib offers value the Giants felt they could not get by drafting anybody else. He was a second-row player for them -- meaning second-round value available in the fourth round. He now gives the Giants a security blanket they've never really had for Manning -- a break glass in case of emergency option -- and perhaps could be a trade chip a few years from now if Manning is still going strong. Or he could be the potential Giants quarterback of the future.

ESPN NFL analyst Bill Polian picked his favorite picks of the draft and he led with the Giants' selection of Nassib. Here's his breakdown:

I think that the New York Giants landed a tremendous asset by taking Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib.

As I mentioned before the draft, there were no quarterbacks that I believed warranted an early selection. But that doesn't mean the position is devoid of talent. Just that these prospects need time to develop and make use of some of their tools and ability. With Nassib, he's going to get precisely that.

Playing behind Eli Manning, there will be no rush in his development. He can sit back, watch and learn, all while providing the Giants with a terrific safety net in the event of an injury to Eli and perhaps even proving to be Manning's successor.

By Nassib's third year in the pros, Manning will be 35, an age at which statistics have shown QBs usually start to break down physically. Their skills may not have diminished, but the accumulation of the punishment they've endured starts to take its toll and injury becomes far more common. By the time that starts to impact Eli, Nassib should be experienced to the point where the Giants will feel comfortable inserting him into a game and still feeling they have better than a 50-percent chance to win.

It may have seemed like a strange pick because quarterback isn't an immediate need for the Giants. But this pick was made with the long view in mind. And I think it was a very savvy selection.

Here are 12 more that stood out to me as particularly strong choices based on the information we have on these prospects right now.

Tell me what you think of the Nassib pick now that you've had time to absorb it. Happy? Upset?
Eli Manning kind of figured it would happen sooner or later.

The Giants' franchise quarterback knew the team could draft a young quarterback prospect to learn behind him. So when the Giants traded up to grab Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, Manning felt it was good to finally have a highly regarded rookie in the quarterbacks room moving forward.

"I called Ryan yesterday and talked to him a little bit and welcomed him to the team," Manning said, according to Newsday, at a March of Dimes March for Babies event. "You always look forward to having young guys on the team, a young quarterback who will be in the meeting room. I'm looking forward to working with him. I'm sure I'll help him a little bit and I'll look forward to having him help me in ways also."

Manning has pretty much always had a veteran backup behind him and currently has David Carr as his backup. Manning says having a young backup won't be a different dynamic for him.

"I don't think so," Manning said. "The quarterbacks, you're trying to help out each other. David's been there. We've had a bunch of quarterbacks over the years and you try to make each other improve. I'm always competing, trying to do the best I can do each year. I'll help Ryan in any way I can, try to get him up to speed in what's going in, and I'll ask him for help also breaking down film once everything gets started. Looking forward to that relationship."

As for the rest of the Giants' draft, Manning will never argue with gaining more offensive linemen. The Giants selected Justin Pugh in the first round and guard Eric Herman in the seventh round.

"I thought it was good," Manning said. "I thought we hit some areas that were needed. A quarterback always likes it when offensive linemen are drafted. You can never have too many qualified offensive linemen on the team. I thought we hit a lot 'if' areas and it put us in good position to have a strong year."

And the Giants went out and did something they haven't done since 2009 -- draft a rookie quarterback to groom behind Manning. Jerry Reese admitted he would be happy if Nassib never plays because that means Manning is still healthy and going strong.

Manning, 32, said drafting Nassib didn't make him think of when his career might end.

"I feel like I'm playing at a high level. This is the prime of my career," Manning said. "I understand that one day it will end. And the thing about it in this league is you never know when that day will come. You never know what's going to happen, so you gotta take advantage of it and work hard to make sure that every year that you play, you do everything you can to win another championship."

Tom Coughlin said he would tell Manning just that about the drafting of Nassib: Continue to lead the Giants to a championship and help teach Nassib.

Manning will try to do just that. And now he has a prized rookie to do his bidding in the quarterbacks room as well.

"It will be unique, we haven't had a drafted quarterback [in a while]," Manning said. "We've had some rookies over the years, but a [highly] drafted guy, this will be the first time. There'll be the usual small -- not hazing, that's too strong of a word, but some rookie earning your role as a drafted quarterback in the NFL."

Rapid Reax: Giants draft RB Michael Cox

April, 27, 2013
Michael CoxAP Photo/Tony DingUMass running back Michael Cox was one pick away from being Mr. Irrelevant.
PLAYER: Michael Cox
SCHOOL: Massachusetts

The Giants have had some luck taking a running back in the seventh round (Ahmad Bradshaw in 2007) and they are hoping to hit it big again. They selected Cox with the second-to-last pick of the draft -– their compensatory pick.

THE 411: Cox is a graduate-student transfer who originally was at Michigan. He only played in 15 games at Michigan and rushed for 169 yards on 19 carries. And in 12 games at UMass, Cox rushed for 715 yards and five touchdowns. But the Giants say that while the production is low, they like Cox’s attributes. They brought him in for a visit and believe he is fast for his size and has “excellent” hands according to Marc Ross, Giants director of college scouting.

HOW HE FITS IN: David Wilson and Andre Brown are the top two backs who will share carries and compete to start. But after that, the Giants have Da’Rel Scott and Ryan Torain.

PROJECTED IMPACT: The Giants hope Cox will be able to come in and push Scott and Torain for the third running back spot this season.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: “You don’t see a lot of production but if you look closely at this guy, we are excited about him,” general manager Jerry Reese said. “He is big, powerful, elusive guy with speed. He has got a lot of things that we like about him.”

Rapid Reaction: Mr. Pancake

April, 27, 2013
Eric Herman AP Photo/Dave MartinEric Herman racked up a whopping 335 pancake blocks over his career at Ohio University.
PLAYER: Eric Herman

The Giants continued to build in the trenches by adding Herman in the seventh round. The Giants clearly are making a concerted effort to get bigger and stronger on the front lines after drafting their fourth lineman (offense and defense) of the draft.

THE 411: Call him Mr. Pancake. Herman is credited with an amazing total of 335.5 pancakes in his career at Ohio. He started 13 games at right tackle and helped Ohio average 203.3 yards rushing in 2012. He started at right guard in 2011 and 2010.

HOW HE FITS IN: Herman will try to give the Giants depth at guard. Chris Snee and Kevin Boothe are the starting guards. David Diehl and James Brewer both can play guard and Jim Cordle can probably play guard as well if needed. The team has Stephen Goodin, Chris DeGeare and Bryant Browning also on the roster at the position.

PROJECTED IMPACT: If Herman does not make the roster out of camp, he likely will end up on the practice squad. But in 2014, the Giants may not have Boothe, Diehl and Cordle so Herman could find his way into the mix. The Giants, though, have hit with some of their seventh-round picks in the past. Last year, they drafted DT Markus Kuhn and of course, they struck it big with Ahmad Bradshaw in 2007.

Rapid Reaction: Cooper Taylor, fifth round

April, 27, 2013
PLAYER: Cooper Taylor
SCHOOL: Richmond

After stunning everybody and trading up for quarterback Ryan Nassib in the fourth round, the Giants went back to focusing on defense. They took a super-sized safety in the fifth round in Taylor.

The Giants like versatile safeties, and it appears Taylor may be able to play linebacker as well. He is big and quick, and could be another piece defensive coordinator Perry Fewell uses in his three-safety look.

THE 411: Like Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden, Taylor has had a heart issue. While at Georgia Tech in 2009, Taylor was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (abnormal electrical pathways in the heart). He underwent a corrective procedure in Nov. 2009. Taylor eventually transferred to Richmond and played his final two years for the Spiders.

Taylor started 18 games at Richmond and had 141 tackles, 1.5 sacks and five interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He had 90 tackles and two interceptions in 20 games at Georgia Tech.

Taylor was clocked at 4.49 in the 40 at Richmond’s pro day. He does have a history of injuries, ranging from his heart condition, to a knee issue in 2011, to a torn pectoral and broken hands suffered in 2012. He still played in 10 games in 2012.

His father, Jim Bob Taylor, was a quarterback for Georgia Tech and the Baltimore Colts.

HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants have a lot of safeties on the roster with Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, Will Hill, Ryan Mundy and Tyler Sash. But Taylor also might be able to help at outside linebacker, where the Giants have Jacquian Williams, Keith Rivers and Spencer Paysinger. Perhaps he can be a Deon Grant-type for the defense. With Kenny Phillips gone, the Giants are looking for a versatile safety for the future.

PROJECTED IMPACT: Taylor sounds like the type of guy who projects as the third safety the Giants like to use. A big, quick body who can play hybrid safety/linebacker, cover and tackle. His impact this coming season would likely come on special teams, but he could push Hill, Mundy and Sash as the third safety with an impressive camp. His biggest impact may come in 2014, since Brown is on a one-year tender and Rolle will be entering the final year of his contract.

Report Card: Grading the Giants' draft

April, 27, 2013

Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
Round 1, 19th pick

Analysis: A lot of the players the Giants were eyeing had been picked. Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker, Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro and LSU safety Eric Reid were all gone. In fact, the Niners traded with the Cowboys to take Reid right before the Giants picked. So the Giants opted to fill a big need with an offensive lineman they feel can play tackle, guard or center.

Jerry Reese said he could not pass on Pugh's versatility. While they did pass on a potential top-10 talent in DT Sharrif Floyd, the Giants got a guy who could potentially enter the mix to start at right tackle this season. At the very least, Pugh offers immediate and much-needed depth on the line that Reese knows isn't getting any younger. Pugh could be a starter in 2014 when Kevin Boothe and David Diehl are expected to be free agents.

Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Round 2, 17th pick (No. 49 overall)

Analysis: The Giants have made it clear that they are looking to solidify themselves in the trenches with their first two picks. In the second round, the Giants added more beef -- a lot of beef -- to the defensive line. Hankins gives the Giants 320-plus pounds to plug inside for a unit that finished 25th against the run last year. He should complement more agile defensive tackles like Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins with his wide body. But with the depth at defensive tackle for this season, Hankins might see limited snaps. His biggest impact may come in 2014. Joseph is entering the final year of his deal and Mike Patterson and Shaun Rogers are on one-year deals. Even though they could have gone cornerback or defensive end, the Giants clearly want to keep their defensive interior stocked with a young prospect. Hankins is the third defensive tackle drafted in the second round by the Giants in their last four drafts.

Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Round 3, 19th pick (No. 81 overall)

Analysis: The Giants may have gotten terrific value with Moore, who was considered to be a potential first-round talent. The defensive end also has the kind of production that excites the Giants with 26.5 sacks in three seasons. Moore has the tools to be a "joker" hybride type of player but Jerry Reese envisions him as an edge rusher. The Giants, who like Moore's effort on tape, needed to come out with a pass rusher in this draft with Osi Umenyiora gone and Justin Tuck entering the final year of his contract.

Moore, 20, may have dropped to the third round because of concerns over his maturity and a slow combine time (4.9). He was arrested for marijuana possession in 2011 and Tom Coughlin said Moore has to improve his practice habits. His biggest immediate impact may come on special teams but the Giants hope he can compete for snaps in the pass rusher rotation this season.

Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Round 4, 13th pick (No. 110 overall)

Analysis: It's hard to argue with the value the Giants got with this pick. Some thought Nassib could go as high as the first round, and the Giants had him rated as a guy with second-round value. They have been looking for a quarterback to groom behind Eli Manning for "a while" according to Jerry Reese. But they had to trade up to grab Nassib and gave up their sixth-round pick. And quarterback isn't a need, since Manning never misses a game. There were a lot of good players on the board for the Giants to take to fill other needs, like at CB, S, LB and TE. But the Giants went for a quarterback of the future, one that Reese likens to Cincinnati's Andy Dalton. The problem is, when will he play? That answer could be several years from now. Reese even admitted that if he never plays, that would be the ideal situation, since that would mean Manning is healthy and good. But I do commend the Giants for addressing an issue they've ignored to a certain degree, and they now have a future plan if Manning were ever to get seriously injured.

Cooper Taylor, S, Richmond
Round 5, 19th pick (No. 152 overall)

Analysis: The Giants might have helped themselves in two areas with this pick. Taylor is a 6-4, 228-pound safety who may be able to play outside linebacker as well. That means he could potentially play the Deon Grant third-safety role. The Giants like to use a three-safety look on passing downs, and Taylor appears to have the size and speed (clocked 4.49 at his pro day) to cover tight ends (and maybe even a slot receiver) and tackle. This coming season, he could factor in on special teams and perhaps push for the third safety spot with an impressive camp. Next season he could have a bigger impact with Stevie Brown playing on a one-year tender. The negative on Taylor is that he had surgery to correct a heart condition (Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome) and has dealt with a series of injuries the past two seasons.

Eric Herman, OG, Ohio
Round 7, 19th pick (No. 225 overall)

Analysis: The Giants passed on a chance to add a cornerback or linebacker and took another offensive lineman. Herman is a large guard (6-4, 320) who may not be athletic but has a nasty disposition and plays physical. In other words, he fits exactly what the Giants like in their offensive linemen. Herman may come from a small school but the Giants believe he will create competition for a roster spot and add to the depth of the offensive line. The Giants repeatedly used the words tough, physical and nasty with Herman.

Michael Cox, RB, UMass
Round 7, 47th pick (No. 253 overall)

Analysis: The Giants are hoping to strike it big again with a running back taken late in the seventh round. They used their compensatory pick on UMass' Michael Cox. Cox rushed for just 715 yards and five touchdowns as a graduate student transfer from Michigan, where he was a backup. He had just 19 carries while at UMass. But the Giants absolutely love his size (6-0, 214), speed and hands and think he could challenge Da'Rel Scott and Ryan Torain at the third running back spot. They did pass on a linebacker and cornerback in the draft but who are we to doubt the Giants, who found Ahmad Bradshaw once upon a time in the seventh round in 2007.

Rapid Reax: Giants trade up, take Nassib

April, 27, 2013
Ryan NassibCliff Welch/Icon SMI The Giants may have found Eli Manning's successor on Saturday in Ryan Nassib.
PLAYER: Ryan Nassib
SCHOOL: Syracuse
POSITION: Quarterback

The Giants have been thinking about taking a young quarterback to groom behind Eli Manning for a while now. But they pulled a stunner by trading up for one on Saturday.

The Giants swapped fourth-round picks and sent their sixth-rounder to the Arizona Cardinals to move up six spots and grab Nassib. The Syracuse quarterback was considered by some to be a potential first-round pick. The Giants had him in the second row on their draft board, and discussed Nassib on Saturday morning. The team’s brass said that if Nassib was available the Giants would move up to get him, and they did just that. Nassib is the second Syracuse player taken by the Giants in this draft, along with first-round pick Justin Pugh.

THE 411: Nassib reminds GM Jerry Reese of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. The Giants like Nassib's arm strength and his moxie. Reese said he likes Nassib’s “it factor.”

Nassib passed for 3,891 yards and 28 touchdowns while throwing for at least 300 yards in six games last season. He is the fourth player in Big East history to throw for over 9,000 yards in a career. He won 21 games at Syracuse. Nassib said he has tried to model his game after Eli Manning.

HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants have David Carr and Curtis Painter on the roster, but Nassib now becomes at the very least the third quarterback behind Manning and Carr. The Giants used to carry three quarterbacks, but haven’t done so in a while. They will likely go with Manning, Carr and Nassib this coming season.

PROJECTED IMPACT: If the Giants have their way, Nassib won’t play for a long time. He will be groomed for the future, and be a break-the-glass-in-case-of-emergency option in case Manning ever gets hurt. Of course, Manning has a streak of 135 consecutive regular-season starts. Still, the Giants have to start thinking about the future at some point. If all goes right, Nassib will be the Giants' quarterback of the future whenever Manning is done. Of course, that could be several years from now.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: “We have been talking about developing a quarterback behind Eli for a while now,” Reese said. “When (Matt) Barkley went, we were like, wow, this guy is not going to be there (when the Giants originally were slated to pick in the fourth round). ... If he doesn’t ever play, that would be great. That is a good problem to have. But if he needs to play, we are hoping that whatever time that is, that he will be ready to go.”

“To be honest, we thought the kid would probably get picked in the second row (on our board) and he is there in the fourth row, still on the board,” Reese added. “We didn’t have Barkley rated as high (as Nassib). ... He’s got the arm strength, we like the accuracy a lot, we like that it factor. He reminded me of (Andy) Dalton.”

Reaction: Giants take DE Moore

April, 26, 2013
Damontre MooreThomas Campbell-USA TODAY SportsThe Giants took a chance on Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore.
PLAYER: Damontre Moore
POSITION: Defensive end

The Giants continued to draft reinforcements for the defensive line by taking defensive end Damontre Moore. Moore was considered to have second-round talent and the Giants got him a round later.

With Osi Umenyiora gone, the Giants needed a defensive end to potentially contribute in the rotation this year but one who might be able to make an impact next season and provide insurance in case Justin Tuck doesn’t return next season.

THE 411: The Giants love Moore's production. In his three seasons at Texas A&M, Moore had 26.5 sacks -– fifth among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players. He had 12.5 sacks and 85 tackles last season. Nicknamed “DaMonster,” Moore started off his career at Texas A&M sharing the “joker” position with Von Miller, playing some 3-4 rush linebacker and 4-3 defensive end. But Jerry Reese says Moore is an edge rusher.

Moore is young. He’s just 20-years-old and Reese said Moore has a lower frame similar to Mathias Kiwanuka. Described to be very athletic in space.

Moore was arrested for marijuana possession in 2011. The Giants like Moore’s energy in games, calling him an effort player in games. But Tom Coughlin said Moore’s practice habits need improvement. May need to mature and ran a slow time (4.9) at the combine.

HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants say he might be able to come in and compete for a spot in the rotation of pass rushers. The Giants like to use four defensive ends and perhaps Moore might compete with Adrian Tracy, Adewale Ojomo and Justin Trattou for the fourth defensive end spot. Jason Pierre-Paul and Tuck will start and Kiwanuka could move into Umenyiora’s role as the third defensive end.

PROJECTED IMPACT: Reese believes Moore can play special teams initially and create competition to crack the pass-rushing rotation. Marc Ross, the director of college scouting, says the coaches are excited about his versatility to potentially play a hybrid role. Biggest impact may come in 2014 and beyond, considering his age.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: “The defensive end, he is sacks,” Reese said. “You think about him in three years, he has 26.5 sacks. He is an edge rusher, tremendous upside. Too good a value for us to pass up on. Why did he slip? I am not sure. Early on people had him ranked pretty high. We were a little surprised that he stayed up there that long with that kind of sack production. You can’t pass on guys with that much pass production.”

Rapid Reaction: Giants draft Hankins

April, 26, 2013
PLAYER: Johnathan Hankins
SCHOOL: Ohio State
POSITION: Defensive tackle
HEIGHT: 6-foot-2

The Giants passed on Florida DT Sharrif Floyd in the first round, but they went defensive tackle in the second round. Hankins is a big wide body who will eat up space and hopefully solidify the run defense. The Giants finished 25th against the run in 2012.

It has become clear that with their first two picks, the Giants are making an effort to get stronger in the trenches on both the offensive and defensive line.

This is the third defensive tackle taken in the second round (Marvin Austin in 2011 and Linval Joseph in 2010) by the Giants in the past four drafts.

The 4-1-1: Hankins was a second-team All-American after having 55 tackles last season. He had 138 tackles and five sacks over his three-year career at Ohio State. Marc Ross, director of college scouting, believes Hankins might have played at a heavier weight than 320 pounds this past season, but he is a defensive tackle who plays three downs despite his size. Ohio State was 14th in the nation in run defense with Hankins anchoring the defensive line.

How he fits in: The Giants are deep at defensive tackle for this season with Joseph, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Shaun Rogers, Austin and Markus Kuhn.

But Joseph is entering the final year of his contract and Patterson and Rogers are on one-year deals. The Giants are likely going to have to cut a DT since it’s hard envisioning them keeping this many defensive tackles.

Hankins' wide body is the type of defensive tackle that will complement Joseph and Jenkins -- two quicker defensive tackles who can rush, as well.

Projected impact: Hankins might have to sit and learn this season behind veterans like Joseph, Jenkins and Patterson. With a good showing in training camp, Hankins could potentially push Patterson, Rogers and Austin to see snaps in the Giants’ rotation and see some time on running plays with his big body. Perhaps he will see goal line snaps, as well.

But Hankins could be in store for significant playing time in 2014 if Joseph does not return.

What they're saying: "Johnathan is a big wide body, space-eater inside," Ross said. "Got a lot of upside. Not a glamorous type of guy inside but does the dirty work needed inside to occupy people. Powerful upper body. For a 320-pound guy plus, he plays the whole game. He’s only going to get better. To us, his skill set is real easy to identify. You watch him play -- that is what he does. He just shuts people down."