Justin Pugh would like the Giants to draft Iowa's Brandon Scherff

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As a draft analyst, New York Giants tackle Justin Pugh is anything but wishy-washy. In this season of hems and haws and disclaimers and smokescreens, we asked Pugh on Thursday who he'd like the Giants to take at No. 9 next Thursday night and he didn't hesitate.

"I like the kid from Iowa," Pugh said, referencing Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff. "Just from what I've seen. Seems like a tough kid. I mean, I just watched a few games on him, and that's someone I would like. I'd like to play with someone like that."

Scherff and the Giants have been an exceedingly popular pair since the start of mock-draft season, and Pugh acknowledged his own awareness of that fact. The Giants want to improve their run-blocking, and Scherff is an uncommonly angry run-blocker who not only dominates at the line, but finishes defenders to an extent that jumps out at you on tape. He played tackle at Iowa, as Pugh did at Syracuse, but some evaluators think he's better suited to play guard in the NFL, as they thought of Pugh when he came out two years ago.

"He's a tough guy. I've heard he's tough," Pugh said. "He plays tackle, he may be a guard, may be a tackle, and that's something I went through going into the draft. I'm just looking forward to getting a guy in here who wants to work and do things the right way and who has the right attitude. And everything I've heard about that kid is great, so I'd love to have him."

Setting aside how jarring it is to hear a 24-year-old Pugh refer to someone else as a "kid," (Scherff is 23, by the way), Pugh's enthusiasm flies directly in the face of the NFL veteran's axiom that you never want your team's first-round pick to play the same position you play. If the Giants take Scherff, it's entirely possible that they could decide he's their new right tackle, moving Pugh inside to guard and away from the position he played in his first two seasons in the NFL.

Pugh insists he wouldn't care.

"Not at all," Pugh said. "I think, if you look at every single Giant offensive lineman that's been here when we've won Super Bowls -- the David Diehls of this world, who moved from guard to tackle to left tackle, won a Super Bowl playing left tackle, no one thought he could do that. If you don't have that mentality in that offensive line room, you're not going to be successful. You have to have that versatility."

Rather than dig in his heels and insist the right tackle job is his and someone's got to take it from him, Pugh (who apprenticed under Diehl during training camp in 2013) is referring back to the reasons the Giants made him a first-round pick in the first place.

"That's one of the reasons the Giants drafted me, because I said I could play any position across the offensive line," Pugh said. "So if they bring me in here and say, 'We need you at right tackle this year, we need you at left tackle next year, we need you at guard'... that's what I told them I would do."

And there you have it, folks. Pugh is fired up and wants the Giants to draft someone who could possibly force him to switch positions, because he thinks that's what's best for the team. Diehl, who lost his own job to Pugh after tutoring him throughout the summer of 2013, would be proud.