Monday, April 30, 2012
Giants toast of ESPN pre-draft party
By Ohm Youngmisuk
Every year during the draft, ESPN The Magazine throws a Pre-Draft party.
And like I have for the last few years, I try to give you a glimpse of what it is like inside the party. This year, the party moved to the The Waterfront.
The party is held the night before the draft and several of the first-round prospects come to celebrate just before being drafted the next day along with several NFL stars.
Diane BondareffJustin Tuck and his wife Lauran.
This year, numerous Giants came out to the party -- 23 in fact -- and were big celebs since they are Super Bowl champs.
Victor Cruz, Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck did several interviews on the red carpet before mingling with people at the party. Cruz could barely move through the crowd without being approached by friends and fans at the party.
Before entering the party, Cruz and Ramses Barden told reporters that the Giants didn’t need to go out and draft another receiver. Of course, the Giants did, taking LSU’s Rueben Randle in the second round.
JPP talked about how he understood exactly how Osi Umenyiora was feeling after Umenyiora had said earlier in the day how he did not think the Giants would be able to give him the type of contract extension he was hoping for and suggested that the Giants might want to trade him for something in return during the draft. Of course, that situation is only starting to heat up now.
“It would hurt a lot,” Pierre-Paul said if the Giants were to move Umenyiora. “All together as one, we are unstoppable. Everybody knows that.”
The Giants' tight ends Jake Ballard, Travis Beckum and Bear Pascoe all showed up together to the party. Ballard told reporters he was pretty sure the Giants were not going to draft a tight end –- Stanford’s Coby Fleener – in the first round and he was right.
Michael Boley, Martellus Bennett, Prince Amukamara, Greg Jones and Chad Jones were among the 23 Giants who attended the party which was held in a long chic warehouse tunnel filled with football players and ESPN personalities.
Everywhere you turned, there was either an NFL player or a new NFL rookie-to-be as first-round talent like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Morris Claiborne, Mark Barron and other draft prospects attended the party. There was a social media platform stage where ESPN personalities like Michael Smith and Jemele Hill chatted with party-goers.
I’ve been to the Pre-Draft party several years in a row but this one was in, by far, the biggest venue to date. And it also had the biggest crowd I've seen. I also can’t remember any of the draft parties having that many Giants in attendance. The last time I saw almost this many Giants was at the 2008 ESPN Pre-Draft party. Of course, that too was after a Super Bowl victory. It’s good to be the champs and be the toast of every party.