Setting Career Expectations for Each Member of Giants' 2013 Draft Class
Jerry Reese and the New York Giants put together another solid draft in 2013, which has us wondering what the career expectations are for each member of the Giants' 2013 draft class.
While the G-Men didn't address needs at linebacker and cornerback, they did bolster the offensive and defensive lines heading into this season.
It's nearly impossible to project how the careers will play out for these seven young rookies, but I took a stab at it anyway.
What follows are my career projections for all seven of the New York Giants' 2013 draft picks.
Round 1 (No. 19): Justin Pugh, OT
Desperately needing help along the offensive line, the G-Men selected offensive lineman Justin Pugh with the No. 19 overall pick. According to NFL.com's Mike Mayock, Pugh can play both of the tackle and guard positions at an NFL level.
I thought the Giants reached for Pugh a little bit—I had him mocked in the middle-to-late second round—but that doesn't mean he won't be productive in a Giants uniform.
Because of his shorter arms, Pugh is probably better served as a guard for the Giants, but the former All-Big Wast first-teamer at Syracuse looks to have a solid career ahead of him. He was a reliable and experienced player at Syracuse and showed great mobility and foot quickness.
One of the biggest needs for Big Blue entering the 2013 offseason was the offensive line, and they addressed it in the draft, all starting with Pugh.
Learning from a veteran offensive line like New York has, don't be surprised to see Pugh make the Pro Bowl a few seasons down the road.
Round 2 (No. 49): Johnathan Hankins, DT
After ranking 25th in the NFL against the rush last season, New York went out and got itself a run-stopper in 6'3", 320-pound Johnathan Hankins out of Ohio State.
The defensive tackle started all 12 games for OSU in 2012 and was honored with a First-Team All-Big Ten appearance for his 55 tackles and one sack.
Hankins isn't the type of DT who's going to wreak havoc in the backfield and pile up the sacks, but what he is going to do is use his strong hands and upper body to be a force against the run—an aspect of the Giants' defense it desperately needs help in.
Check out what Yahoo! Sports' Doug Farrar had to say about the big man.
Johnathan Hankins tape. The word that comes to mind, over and over, is "force." Massive leverage player who's quicker than he looks.— SC_DougFarrar (@SC_DougFarrar) April 9, 2013
Given his extensive workload with the Buckeyes, Hankins does slow down some as the game progresses on film, but he won't be called upon to be an every-down player with the Giants early on in his career like he was at Ohio St.
Is there Pro Bowl potential here with Hankins? Absolutely.
I think Giants fans should fully expect this guy to make it to at least one Pro Bowl in his career.
Round 3 (No. 81): Damontre Moore, DE
I absolutely love this pick for the Giants. I had Damontre Moore as a first-round pick on my board, but character issues—including an arrest—are likely what had Moore slip in the 2013 draft.
The talent of this young defensive end shouldn't be doubted though. Playing defensive end for the first season in 2012, Moore racked up 85 tackles (21 for loss) and 12.5 sacks at Texas A&M.
Jerry Reese certainly knows the value of Moore along the Giants' defensive line, as he told the New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano.
Giants GM Jerry Reese on third-round pick, DE Damontre Moore: "He is sacks." #NYG— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) April 27, 2013
Under a coach like Tom Coughlin, I think Moore will keep his nose clean. If that does happen, this kid definitely has Pro Bowl potential, especially when paired with Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul in Perry Fewell's defensive system.
Call me crazy, but I think Moore is the first rookie of this 2013 Giants class to earn a trip to Hawaii.
Round 4 (No. 110): Ryan Nassib, QB
As a Giants fan, how can you not like this pick?
I don't want to jinx anything, but Eli Manning is 32 and will have his best days behind him fairly soon. This wasn't a deep quarterback class, but to get a talent like Ryan Nassib in the fourth round is a steal for New York.
He'll have the opportunity to learn from one of the best in the game, and while he likely won't see any playing time barring injury to Manning, one has to think he's the successor to Manning when the time is right.
Judging by his Twitter account, the 23-year-old is happy to be in New York:
I know I'm a little late, but I'm coming to the big apple baby! So excited to be a Giant. Great chance to learn from one of the best. #gmen— Ryan Nassib (@Ryan_Nassib) April 29, 2013
Nassib has a quick, strong delivery on his passes, steps up in the pocket with ease and can take a big hit. The weakest part of his game may be his footwork, but that's something he can improve on from watching Manning.
So career expectations for Nassib?
How about taking over for Manning in three to five seasons and being an above-average quarterback in the NFL for years to come.
That's the type of talent I think Nassib showed at Syracuse.
Round 5 (No. 152): Cooper Taylor, S
With the departure of Kenny Phillips to the rival Philadelphia Eagles, New York was in need of a safety. I'm actually surprised the Giants didn't address the cornerback spot before going after a safety, but it appears that the G-Men had an ulterior motive in drafting Cooper Taylor.
According to ESPN New York's Ohm Youngmisuk, Taylor is a versatile safety who has the ability to play linebacker as well, given his 6'4", 228-pound size.
The former Richmond safety overcame a heart issue to make it to the NFL, and with his monster size at the safety position, it's easy to see why Big Blue wanted this guy. He's a dynamic playmaker who can play outside linebacker as well and it sounds like the Giants' brass is high on him (h/t Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News).
Marc Ross on S Cooper Taylor: "I think we got a hidden gem here." #NYG— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) April 28, 2013
As far as career expectations, I think the Giants and Taylor need to figure out which position he's going to play at the NFL level. Since he's familiar with the safety spot, I like the idea of him being a backup safety for now and a playmaker on special teams for New York going forward.
Round 7 (No. 225): Eric Herman, OG
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Nicknamed "Mr. Pancake," Eric Herman's job with the Giants will be to provide depth behind guys like Chris Snee, Kevin Boothe, David Diehl and James Brewer.
If you asked me right now, I'd say that Herman probably will find himself on New York's practice squad this season, but as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York notes, the G-Men could be without a bunch of their offensive lineman in 2014, potentially opening up a position for Herman.
One thing is for sure, scouting director Marc Ross likes what he's seen from Mr. Pancake (via Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated).
Marc Ross describes Eric Herman as a "tough, nasty brawler. ... not the most gifted athlete, but he's just a tough guy." #nyg— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) April 28, 2013
If Herman works hard, he could make the team in 2014 and see the field depending on what New York does in free agency and the draft and what the injury situation looks like.
Round 7 (No. 253): Michael Cox, RB
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Michael Cox won't fit into the Giants' offensive plans anytime soon, with Andre Brown and David Wilson being the top two backs on the depth chart. Even behind Brown and Wilson, the Giants have Ryan Torrain and Da'Rel Scott.
So how does Cox fit into the mix?
According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York, the G-Men could use Cox to push Torrain and Scott to work harder in order for one of the backs to emerge as a clear No. 3 on the depth chart.
There's not much production to go off of from this kid, but Jerry Reese and the rest of the Giants' brass seem to like him, according to Giants 101.
Giants GM Jerry Reese on Michael Cox: "We think he’s got a chance. He’s a big and powerful elusive guy with speed."— Giants 101 (@Giants_101) April 28, 2013
Perhaps further down the road Cox will get his chance with the Giants, but unless a slew of injuries strikes the backfield, I don't see him playing much of a role for a few seasons in the NFL.