The first hour of the draft didn't go very well for the New York Giants. Their top choice at tackle got caught in a weird Twitter controversy right before the draft started. The Tennessee Titans traded up to take the Giants' No. 2 tackle two picks in front of them. The Chicago Bears traded up to take the Giants' top defensive target one pick in front of them. Unable to trade down, the Giants stayed put and took their highest-ranked remaining cornerback, Ohio State's Eli Apple.
My take: The Giants aren't the most nimble team in the draft, so I'm not surprised they got outmaneuvered for Jack Conklin and Leonard Floyd. As for trading down ... meh. Takes two to tango. And the way the draft is right now (look at Keanu Neal at 17 and Ryan Kelly at 18), most teams believe that, if you like a guy, you don't wait around and hope he'll be there later. Apple is a big corner who's just 20 years old and makes sense for the Giants. GM Jerry Reese said, "Absolutely, it's a need pick. Look out there at our corner depth, and you can see that." I agree with him. You can argue the Giants should have been able to maneuver to get the guys they wanted, but I can't fault them for taking this player if they felt stuck in that spot.
The kid was surprised: Apple said he spoke to the Giants only once during the draft process -- at the combine -- and that when he saw a New Jersey area code pop up on his phone, the New Jersey native thought one of his friends was prank-calling him. It took him a few seconds after answering before he realized it really was Giants head coach Ben McAdoo. "It was kind of crazy to see my name up on the screen at No. 10," he said.
Wild pre-draft process: Apple was the prospect who was asked by a Falcons coach at the combine whether he "liked men" -- a controversy that resulted in public apologies from the Falcons. He was also the prospect who was reported by an anonymous scout in a report earlier this week to struggle with life skills, such as cooking. "Ridiculous," Giants scouting director Marc Ross said. "This guy came from a good family. Went to college. And we're asking about cooking? I mean, come on. The guy plays football, shows up to practice, goes to class, has great parents ... and we're talking about cooking. It's not a factor at all. It's if he does things that are football-oriented that work out."
Who they passed on: Reese said Apple was the Giants' "highest-rated player on our board, beyond the guys with issues." He did not address specific guys or issues, but I know the Giants liked Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil as of a few days ago, and you have to think the video that posted on his Twitter account just before the draft of him apparently smoking marijuana in a gas mask gave the Giants (and other teams) pause. We also found out a few days ago that the Giants had decided not to use this pick on UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, in large part due to concerns about his knee.
What’s next: The Giants hold the ninth pick of the second round (No. 40 overall) and the eighth pick of the third round (No. 71 overall) on Friday night. They could look to add an offensive lineman, a wide receiver or a safety -- all positions of need. Watch out for guys like Jason Spriggs and Cody Whitehair for offensive line, Sterling Shepard and Leonte Caroo for wide receiver, Vonn Bell for safety and Reggie Ragland if they're looking for help at linebacker. It also will be interesting to see how far Jack keeps falling and whether the Giants would take him at 40.