Last year at this time, Giants GM Jerry Reese said he had no particular player in mind as the NFL Draft approached. Reese said the team will take the best available player with the 12th overall pick.
As it turned out, Reese did have a particular player in mind, LSU WR Odell Beckham, Jr., and he just happened to fall to the Giants in the first round. Beckham was the Giants' man all along, we were told afterward.
Well, here we are again. Reese held his pre-draft presser Thursday morning and basically sounded like a broken record, though he does have an idea of who he wants.
"I think you always have a good idea, but it is always unpredictable," Reese said. "You never know what is going to happen. You can look up and some of those quarterbacks they think are going to be in the first couple picks could be – not off the board until 15 or 20. You never know. I learned that a long time ago in the draft. Funny things can happen, so expect everything to happen."
When pressed on what position he might be prioritizing in this draft, especially offensive line, Reese remained as cagey as ever.
"Every position," Reese said. "We want to try and upgrade every position as best we can every opportunity we get. Offensive line won’t be excluded from that as well...we just look for good players. Good profiles...strong. Big, strong, fast and smart."
Reese did comment on one of the top OLs in the draft, Brandon Scherff of Iowa, who many have mocked to the Giants in the first round. He was asked if Scherff would play guard or tackle if the Giants drafted him.
"I think he can play both, Reese stated. "I think he can play tackle and he can play guard. I think he can play somewhere...The coaches will have to figure that out."
In regards to the many talented pass rushers in the draft this year, Reese said "there are some good pass rushers and edge rushers available. Are you asking me to stack them or something like that? I can’t do that, but I do think there are some good pass rushers in this draft."
Reese has always contended the Giants select the best player on their board regardless of position and this year is no different...
"We just stack the board. Whoever we think the best player is in the first row, it doesn’t matter what position, which is how we do it. We stack them the same way. If you pick inside 12 picks, you should get a good football player...if you pick high in the draft, that is the way the whole system is built. If you pick high in the draft, you are supposed to get better players to help you have a better football team. If you are picking last in the draft, you get penalized for being successful. You get penalized, so you get lesser players. Whoever you pick at nine should be a better player than who you pick at 32. That is the way the system is and obviously we are picking nine and expect to get a good player. A really good player."We already knew most of this, as well as how the team stacks players into rows instead of rounds. One thing that Reese did say that was interesting was that the team doesn't look backward when it comes to the draft.
"We don’t really look back on that draft that much.," he said. "We draft them and that draft is over. We are moving on to this draft and we are excited about the players in this draft. We go back after two or three years and look and see why a guy made it or why a guy didn’t make it. After one year, it is really hard to evaluate."
The Giants hope they will have to answer that question less and less in the future.