The New York Giants generally got decent grades for the work they did in this year’s NFL Draft. That said, perhaps their most questioned pick appears to be their first one when they took Virginia Tech running back David Wilson with the 32nd and final pick of the first round on Thursday.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese isn’t having any of it. Reese says that not only was Wilson their highest-ranked player on the board when the 32nd pick rolled around, but that the team didn’t lose out when Tampa Bay moved up to take Boise State running back Doug Martin. Reese sheds some light on the Giants’ draft board by telling the world they actually had Wilson ranked higher than Martin.
Jerry Reese joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesca to discuss the Giants’ Super Bowl season in 2011, the emergence of Jason Pierre-Paul, if the new collective bargaining agreement changed the draft, picking David Wilson in the first round, having Wilson ranked higher than Doug Martin, picking up receiver Rueben Randle and why he doesn’t put a ton of stock in the Wonderlic.
On saying that the Giants were good going into last year and then turning out to be right even when some questioned those remarks:
“Well, we won 10 games. We didn’t qualify for the [playoffs], but we won 10 games. It’s hard to win 10 games in this league and we had most of those core players coming back. I thought, ‘Why couldn’t we continue to win 10, 11 games and have a chance to get in the playoffs again?’”
What’s the feeling like to kind of take a chance on a draft pick like Jason Pierre-Paul and see him turn out the way he has?:
“He was an easy pick for us. He has an uncommon physical skill set and he has football instincts. Those two things, it’s hard to turn that down. Who wouldn’t want to coach someone like that? He still has a lot to learn. He’s a terrific young player, but he still has a long way to go and he could really be something moving forward. But he’s showing us what we thought we saw.”
Did the new collective bargaining agreement and rookie wage scale and those things affect how you draft?:
“Well, I think it’s changed around the league a little bit, but for us to be picking at the bottom, it’s hard to get up and pick somebody because you lose your entire draft if you do that. You lose all your picks. Economically, it’s a lot easier to move up to go get a guy, but when you’re at 32 and you think you’re going to move up to the top 10, you’re going to lose everything you have in the draft, and our draft picks are valuable to us.”
Were you looking for a running back or was David Wilson just the best player available there when it got to you in the first round?:
“First of all, he was the highest player on our board at the time that we picked. That was an easy pick for us. It was a value and a need pick for us, we thought. We lost Brandon [Jacobs] who did a terrific job for us while he was here. We’ve got [Ahmad Bradshaw] and he’s going to be the lead dog for us, but we wanted to get another running back at some point. We didn’t want to sacrifice value, but he was the top player on our board.”
On Wilson actually being higher on the Giants’ board than Boise State running back Doug Martin, who went earlier in the round:
“There’s been some conjecture that Tampa had moved up in front of us and took Martin. That’s not true. We had Wilson in front of Martin. … Martin would not have been our pick. He was in the conversation, but he was down lower than a couple more guys we had in that spot. We liked him and think he’s going to be a good player too, but we didn’t lose him because we had David Wilson ranked in front of him.”
What did you see in receiver Rueben Randle in the second round?:
“Rueben has the height, weight, speed. He’s a big guy. He reminded us of [Hakeem] Nicks in some ways. He’s not a blazing fast guy, but he’s got play speed like Nicks. … Nicks was a 4.5 guy just like this, like Rueben Randle. He’s big; he can post guys up. He was handicapped a little bit by the quarterback situation. … This guy ran the entire route tree. We think he’s going to quickly come in and quickly have a chance to help us.”
What are your thoughts on the Wonderlic test?:
“We have a couple different psychological inventories that we give guys. The Wonderlic is part of what we do as well. It’s all a combination of things. Sometimes kids don’t score well on the Wonderlic, but if they still have good football instincts, you can still take them. … That may raise a red flag for us and we’ll investigate a little bit more and say, ‘Why did this guy score so low?’ … But we look at, is this guy a good football player? Does he have football instincts? You don’t have to go out there on the field on Sunday and take a math quiz.”