Rapid Reaction: Giants take Pugh

PLAYER: Justin Pugh

SCHOOL: Syracuse




With Alabama T D.J. Fluker and safeties Kenny Vaccaro and Eric Reid gone, the Giants went for Syracuse’s Justin Pugh to bolster the offensive line.

The Giants passed on Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who was projected by some to be a top-five pick.

The Giants, though, need an offensive lineman who could potentially start at right tackle this season and in the future.

THE 411: Pugh had shoulder surgery and missed the first four games of 2012 but still earned All-Big East honors. He helped Syracuse have a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his three seasons in school.

HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants’ line may be set for this season with exception at right tackle. David Diehl and James Brewer are candidates to start and Pugh might be in the mix as well.

With Diehl and Kevin Booth both on one-year deals, Pugh likely could be a starter on the line next season.

PROJECTED IMPACT: He provides immediate needed depth for the line. The Giants feel he can begin as a tackle but can fill in at any spot on the line. Could push to start at right tackle with a good camp but biggest impact may come in 2014 as a starter.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "Terrific football player," general manager Jerry Reese said. "We think he is really versatile. He can play left tackle, right tackle, either guard and (offensive line coach) Pat Flaherty thought he could play center and has that kind of skill set.

"Hard to pass up on those kind of guys," Reese added. "People ask about his arms ... we looked at him and when you see guys with 32-inch arms playing offensive line, especially the tackle position, I looked at tape after tape after tape and I could never see the arms come into play ... I was looking for excuses to downplay him ... but could never find it. He was too good of a value. As a matter of fact, he was the highest guy on the board."