Giants go under-the-radar with offensive lineman Pugh

Justin Pugh could immediately contend for playing time on the Giants' offensive line. Credit: Getty Images
Justin Pugh could immediately contend for playing time on the Giants’ offensive line.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants had a few needs to fill, including skill positions like running back, linebacker and cornerback. But true to their form, they bypassed all the hoopla and stuck to their board, by selecting offensive tackle Justin Pugh with their No. 19 pick.

The former Syracuse star is 6-foot-4 and 307 pounds and considered by many to be one of the best tackle/guard combos in the league. The Giants have a habit of selecting ready-made players in the first round and Pugh shouldn’t be any different.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese said that Pugh was high on their draft board and added in earnest that he’s happy that the lineman was available.

“He was the highest guy on our board,” said Reese, almost sounding as if he was trying to convince anyone within earshot. “You guys think I’m joking when I say that, but he was the highest guy on our board.”

Pugh, a 2012 First-Team All-Big East selection, will likely slide immediately into the swing-tackle position — a spot that is very valuable in offensive coordinator’s Kevin Gilbride’s offense.

The extra tackle in the heavy packages is essentially an extra blocker for short-yardage situations, which is something the Giants have lacked in execution in recent years.

Head coach Tom Coughlin certainly expects Pugh to hold his own.

“It’s an outstanding pick for us. Justin is a very good left tackle from Syracuse University, and he’s a technician and an excellent student and very smart,” said Coughlin, who is also a Syracuse alum. “He utilizes all of his ability and he adds a lot of versatility.”

Coughlin went on to praise the versatility of his newest player.

“He can play the left or right side. He’s got big hands, and could even play center for us if we needed that,” Coughlin said. “His feet are good and can get to the second level as well as anyone. … He can play either tackle position and [can] probably be taught the inside as well.”

Regarding the Giants’ tackle positions, Pugh may not immediately crack the starting lineup, as left tackle Will Beatty signed a lucrative contract extension during the offseason and right tackle David Diehl will be penciled in at the right tackle position. Diehl, though, isn’t inked in as the starter, so it’s a real possibility that Pugh can give the veteran a battle in training camp.

Coughlin certainly thinks Pugh can handle the pressure of camp competition against a respected and long-time veteran.

“Well, it was time to address [adding depth on the offensive line] and if the best player available was an offensive lineman, we’d be very happy to get help along the offensive line,” said Coughlin. “It’s not easy to come into the National Football League and play or start at the offensive line position. But this young man has the experience and intelligence to handle that.”

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."