The new Director of Player Personnel is Marc Ross. While working for the Eagles, Ross was responsible for bringing in players such as Brian Westbrook, Lito Sheppard and Derrick Burgess. Some excerpts of what he had to say about the draft:
“You never want to pass up good players. If you have players of similar talent, similar value – their value is close – then you should push it toward the need end, I think, but if there is a huge discrepancy and you have somebody on the board that just has so much more value than the guy you have at the position of need, then you have to go with the guy who you have the higher value on. No doubt about it.
“Good players are going to end up playing and if you force a bad player into a position of need, then they may not end up playing anyway. I have had that happen in drafts (for the Eagles), where we try to force players just because we needed them or you thought you needed them. You end up with a position of strength at this time in the year to maybe a position of weakness where if you would have drafted the best player then that wouldn’t have been an issue. It seems like here they have done a great job in doing that. Taking the best players and they have found a way to get them on the field with (Justin) Tuck and Kiwi (Mathias Kiwanuka). Good players are going to play. They will find a way to get on the field.
“I am glad they cut the time down on the draft this year so it won’t be as long as some other years (the time between first round picks has been reduced from 15 to 10 minutes). This is my first time picking this low. We picked low a lot in Philadelphia, so I am used to waiting for a while, but this is the first time picking this low.
“I think we are in a good situation to take the best player, because in the first round a lot of teams do take for need. I think there will be some players sitting and waiting for us with that last player who probably should have been drafted higher. That is my thought going into it. My thought is that we can find just as good a player at 31 as we can at 10.
“You never know where those players are going to come from. Ahmad Bradshaw would have been (the 250th player taken last year), but if you stack the board again this year and he might have been in the first round. You just never know where those guys are going to come from. I am not discouraged. People have been saying that every time we won a playoff game, ‘Oh, it is messing up your draft pick.’ But I look at it as a challenge. I have total confidence that we are going to get a good player where we are picking.”
Reese is a scout. Ross is a scout. The scout mantra is pick’em and play’em. I like the 31st pick in the draft, and his remarks make me feel that much more confident. (See previous post for more color on why- it is like a second rounder.) Reese and Ross know very well that if they give up the pick for Hall, they could be giving up a lot. For all we know, both clubs go into the draft w/o a deal and may make one after the first 30 players have been chosen when NY is on the clock. But either way, it is very interesting to see the scouting culture well entrenched at the Giants front office.