Jerry Reese talks Giants' strategy for Draft

Posted May 2, 2014

GM Jerry Reese held his pre-Draft Press Conference Thursday

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – A seemingly logical conclusion can be made that the Giants’ acquisition of an NFL-high 16 veteran free agents offseason would influence their decisions in the draft room next week.


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It is perhaps logical, but definitely incorrect.

“It really doesn’t have a lot of effect on it,” general manager Jerry Reese said today at his annual pre-draft news conference. “The draft is what it is, it stands alone. We try to take the best players we can in the draft. Really, in free agency you try to fill some holes, but in the draft you just try to pick the best players. That’s what we try to do.”

So signing four offensive linemen to shore up a unit that struggled last season will not preclude the Giants from drafting one with the 12th overall selection, if a lineman is the best player on the board.

“We have work to do still on the offensive line,” Reese said. “We brought some offensive linemen in but we’re still going to try to get players on the offensive line, the defensive line, linebacker. Every position can be upgraded more for us.”


The Giants also added four defensive backs. But anything and everything remains possible.

“We think we’ve upgraded in some places, and obviously, we’ll continue to look and see if there are more players available,” Reese said. “We feel like we’ve upgraded some spots and got a little bit younger in some spots, too.”

Ideally, the grades the Giants have assigned to the players on their draft board will meld with their current needs. But Reese is more focused on selecting the best players, regardless of position, than targeting areas that were not addressed in volume during free agency.

“Again, the draft stands alone,” he said. “You just try to pick the best players available in the draft. I don’t know how else I can say that to you. The draft stands alone. What we did in free agency really doesn’t affect what we do in the draft. We just try to go in there and say, ‘Who’s the best player up there in the first row for us when it’s our time to pick?’ We try to pick that guy. We do like to get value and need, we like a combination of those things, but it doesn’t have anything to do with free agency.

“(It’s) best player available. The draft stands alone and we’ll try to pick that guy.”

The Giants currently own seven selections in the three-day draft that begins a week from today. They have one pick in Rounds 1-4 and 6, and two choices, including a compensatory selection, in Round 5. The Giants surrendered their seventh-round pick in the trade last season with Carolina that delivered linebacker Jon Beason.


Reese played it typically close to the vest when asked about the possibility of trades league-wide in the first two rounds.

“You never know in the draft,” he said. “It could be some movement, it could be no movement. You never know what’s going to happen. You just try to prepare for everything. But you never know what will happen.”

As is his custom, Reese sidestepped most specifics, either concerning the Giants’ needs or his thoughts on draft-eligible players. But he did offer what can probably be described as a generalized specific.

Asked whether he views Notre Dame’s Zack Martin as a tackle or guard, Reese said, “I just see him as a good offensive lineman. That’s how I see him. I think he has some flexibility to play both, but I just see him as a good offensive lineman.”

Reese stuck with broad answers when asked about North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron, Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald and quarterback Johnny Manziel, the most publicized player in this draft.

“I think all of the drafts have good players in them,” Reese said. “You just have to be able to pick them.”