Giants general manager Jerry Reese repeated his "best player available" mantra like a broken record all week. The strategy worked to perfection in Friday's second round.
New York drafted former LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle with the final pick of the second round (No. 63 overall). Randle, who was projected as an early second-round pick, fell into the Giants' eager hands.
"I really didn’t think there was a chance we were going to get him," director of college scouting Marc Ross said. "He was one of those where at the end of the [first] night you’re saying he’s going to be one of the first few guys taken in the top of the [second] round. Very surprising that he was still there."
The 6-foot-4 Randle had 53 catches for 917 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011 for the Tigers. The numbers were solid but misleading as the team cycled between two quarterbacks, both of whom struggled throwing the ball.
"The way LSU plays, they run the ball, they play defense and those two quarterbacks, to be quite honest, are not very good. So he didn’t get a lot of chances," Ross said. "When the ball came to him he was productive, but he just didn’t get a ton of chances to win games, to catch, but when they went his way he made plays."
The Giants lost third receiver Mario Manningham to the 49ers in free agency, so Randle will have a chance to step in immediately and battle for the job.
In the third round, with the No. 94 pick, the Giants selected former Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley. Hosley, like Randle, dropped in the draft, but in Hosley's case it was for a very specific reason. The corner failed a drug test at the NFL combine, but the Giants' personnel evaluators feel they did their due diligence on him.
"He did fail the [drug] test in Indianapolis," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We’re very much aware of that and we’ve addressed that with him and we’re prepared to address that professionally as well when we do get him here."
"He’s very young. He’s 20 years old," Reese said. "He’s an early-out junior. He knows that’s a bad decision that he made and we expect better from him."
The 5-foot-10 defensive back had 59 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in his junior season. As a sophomore, he started all 13 games and had nine picks. Hosley was teammates with the Giants' first-round pick David Wilson in college.
Reese said if it weren't for his height, Hosley could have been a first-round pick.
"He’s not a big man, but this guy has athletic arrogance. He plays like a big guy," Reese said. "His skill set, years ago, kind of reminds me of Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones; he plays kind of like that. He runs in there kind of like a little linebacker. He throws himself in there. He has outstanding cover skills."
Hosley also returned punts for the Hokies and will get a look there in training camp for the Giants. He averaged 12.7 yards per return as a junior and had two returns for touchdown in his three years at Virginia Tech.
The Giants have four picks on the final day of the draft, with two at the back of the fourth round and one each at the back of the sixth and seventh rounds.
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