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Mailbag: Finding value at premium positions

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Peter in California: Considering position as a primary reason to make first-round picks is a big mistake. The Giants need help everywhere. And with two very picks you have a chance to get two All-Pro caliber players. If two players are close in talent when a pick comes up, choose the one from the more shallow pool. When you pick by position, there's a tendency to reach and end up with a player who can't play up to the level of the pick. Tell me why I'm wrong!

John Schmeelk: There's much to agree on here. You do not pick positions, you pick players. Pick the best player and the team will rarely regret it. When grades are identical or touching, that's when position comes into the decision-making process. Some people focus on need, but it's better to be more concerned with positional value. Some positions are more vital to a team's success than others – the preference here, in no particular order, is at quarterback, offensive tackle, edge rusher, cornerback, and wide receiver.

Especially for quarterbacks, but also for offensive tackle and edge rusher, it is very difficult to find elite players at those positions outside of the early parts of the draft. Edge rushers and offensive tackles require such unique combinations of athletic traits that those players are hard to find. If a couple of elite position players are available, then you could consider the player pool. Receiver, for example, is often a position to wait on because it is has been deep in recent drafts.

Paul in Nevada: This draft is a front office test because there are may not be any true top overall players or many top first-round choices available. It would help if the Giants get two players at No. 5 and 7 to offer immediate impact.

John Schmeelk: The new front office has a fresh start and deserves patience. Even the best general managers miss on picks. Sometimes, misses are simply due to bad luck, such as injury. It is extremely important, however, to get real contributors when you are drafting that high. Whoever the Giants pick will likely be expected to step on the field right away and produce.

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