EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants, who have been steadily reconstructing their offensive line, tonight added a large and vital building block when they selected tackle Ereck Flowers on the first round of the NFL Draft.
1. He's all upside.
After Ereck Flowers caught the eye of scouts, Giants general manager Jerry Reese, vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross and offensive line coach Pat Flaherty traveled to Coral Gables, Fla., to see the offensive lineman at Miami's pro day. And they were sold.
"There were some good offensive linemen up there, but he was the highest guy on our board where we picked him," general manager Jerry Reese said Thursday night at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "We think it's all upside with him. A couple of days ago, he just turned 21. So those are things that we like. He's young, powerful, big, tough, he's got a nasty streak. All of those things we like about him."
2. He's nasty.
**A common theme emerged when the Giants' decision-makers spoke on draft night shortly after the team selected Flowers. Some of the words used to describe him were "battleship," "aircraft carrier" and "gigantic human."
"He's just a big, tough guy," Reese said. "That's one of the things when you talk to the coaches down there, it's like this guy doesn't take any crap from anybody. We like that and you can see that in his play. He likes to finish guys off and that kind of fits the offensive profile that we like. We like some big, tough guys with a little bit of a nasty streak.**
- He's a tackle of the future. **
As the ninth overall pick, Flowers will compete right away for a spot on the offensive line. While he can play inside or out, the Giants said he is naturally a tackle and has experience on both sides.>> ERECK FLOWERS SCOUTING REPORT
"A franchise left tackle is a rare commodity," Ross said. "There are not many of those guys around the league and we think this guy has the ability, the upside, the potential, the toughness, the smarts and the competitiveness to be a franchise left tackle for us."
- The value met the need.**
Flowers became the third offensive lineman drafted early by the Giants in the last three years. In 2013, they selected Justin Pugh with the 19th overall pick before taking
Weston Richburg in the second round last year. Together they make up a young nucleus that will try to become the foundation of the team.
"We always talk about we're going to take the best player, but we're always cognizant of what our need is as well and we think this is a good need and a value pick for us," Reese said. "We think this can help solidify the offensive line, so hopefully this will settle the offensive line down and we don't have to keep talking about the offensive line as much."**
- He is all about football. **
During their Miami visit, the Giants spent time and had dinner with Flowers. Additionally, they spoke to his college coaches to learn what makes him tick.
"He is very quiet, but he is a smart quiet," Ross said. "He is all about football. He is a gym rat. They tell you at [Miami] that he just hangs around the facility. He works out all the time. He is real tight with his dad and they work out together. He will come back to the facility and work out some more. He doesn't go out and hang out. He doesn't party. You would think down in Miami and South Beach that he would be out, but he is one of the exceptions down there. He doesn't go out. He just wants to play football. He doesn't want to talk about it, he just wants to be about the action, as Marshawn Lynch said."
Photos of every first round draft pick