They filled needs at offensive line (Syracuse's Justin Pugh in Round 1), defensive tackle (Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins in Round 2) and at defensive end (Texas A&M's Damontre Moore in Round 3).
Despite general manager Jerry Reese's seeming aversion to improving the linebacker corps, I thought there was a good chance the Giants would use their Round 4 selection (No. 116) to add a potential starter at the position.
What actually happened was a total stunner.
The Giants traded their Round 4 and Round 6 (No. 187) selections to the Arizona Cardinals to move up to No. 110, and with that pick, they selected Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib.
Wow. Let's evaluate this pick from every angle.
Nassib, the first quarterback selected by the Giants since Rhett Bomar (Round 5) in 2009, represented fantastic value for Big Blue. He had been projected by many, including B/R's draft guru Matt Miller, to be selected in either the first or second round.
When you move past Eli Manning on the Giants depth chart, there isn't much to write home about. David Carr (34 at the start of the 2013 season) is, at best, an average backup, and if Curtis Painter is the answer, I'd love to know the question.
While Manning (32) has never missed a start since being inserted into the lineup in 2004, he won't play forever, and as his older brother Peyton proved, no one is indestructible, and the Colts 2011 season was completely derailed by a season-ending neck injury to the elder Manning. From that perspective, it made sense for the Giants to look to add a quality backup quarterback.
But, I believe Manning has a good five-to-seven years left in him, and, quite frankly, if Nassib ever has to play for an extended period, it'll be an abject disaster, because it will mean Manning is injured.
Interesting pick. Reese on Nassib: "We actually hope this guy never plays." #NYG— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) April 27, 2013
I believe the most likely scenario for Nassib is to develop behind Manning for a few seasons, and then be traded by Reese to a quarterback-needy team for a better pick (or picks) than the one they used to acquire him.
I very much subscribe to that school of thought. No matter who you have entrenched as your starting quarterback--no matter how good he might be--it's important to have young, quality backups at the position that you can eventually flip for draft picks. From that perspective, this was a brilliant selection by Reese and the Giants.
Now, let's evaluate Nassib as a prospect.
Nassib (6'2", 225) has good accuracy, an NFL-caliber arm and makes quality decisions with the football. He's an intelligent guy and is super tough, standing strong in the pocket.
How would you grade the Giants selection of QB Ryan Nassib?
But, all those attributes? They'll likely never come into play for the Giants. I don't think he'll ever end up starting a game for Big Blue.
And, you know what? That's fine. Nassib was a much higher-rated prospect than where he ended up being selected, and I have full confidence in the Giants staff to coach him up and groom him in order to trade him.
For now, though, Nassib will immediately become the Giants best option behind Manning, and, in the event that Manning needs to miss some time, Big Blue can be confident that they'll have an option that can step in and potentially win some games. I'd definitely trust Nassib more than I would Carr.
With all of that said: This was a brilliant selection by Reese and the Giants brain trust, as they now have a legitimate backup quarterback, and a valuable trade chip in the years to come.