General manager Jerry Reese called it “interesting.” Vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross called it “historic.” Head coach Ben McAdoo called it “unique.”
They were all right.
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The Giants have been drafting players for the NFL since 1936, and this year, for the first time in their history, they made it through the process without selecting either an offensive or defensive lineman. The last time they came close to that feat was in 1965 when they waited until the ninth round to take one.
But while they appreciated the marvel of such a fact, none of the three decision-makers for the Giants gave it much perspective. It certainly wasn’t something they came into this draft hoping to accomplish — or even considered in the historic scope — yet that’s exactly what happened.
“We weren’t going to force anything,” Ross said. “You always want big bodies, but you want the right big bodies. You can’t just go into it saying we want an offensive lineman and throw somebody up there.”
“The last thing you want to do is reach for a guy,” McAdoo said. “That’s just how it went this year.”
It’s also the first time since 2008 that the Giants have not selected an offensive lineman, which is a position many believed they needed to bolster. The lack of a pick there, though, is not necessarily a pat on the back to those currently on the roster. The Giants would like to improve, particularly on the right side, where John Jerry and Marshall Newhouse are penciled in at guard and tackle and last year’s seventh-rounder Bobby Hart is competing against them at both spots.
“The story is yet to be written on the right side of the offensive line,” McAdoo said. “We’re just starting the 2016 offseason. We’re going to look at every possible combination, give guys a chance to compete, and see where it goes from there. It’s still early.”
Despite not drafting anyone or making any big free-agency addition to the position group, McAdoo said the team will continue to look for somebody . . . “if the right somebody shows up.”
He didn’t in this draft.
“We spent a lot in free agency on the d-line,” Ross said, referring to re-signing Jason Pierre-Paul and adding Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon. “We have some high draft picks on the o-line [first-rounders Justin Pugh and Ereck Flowers and second-rounder Weston Richburg]. We have some good players right there and we weren’t going to force the issue with either of those positions.”
That’s the Giants’ line, and they’re sticking with it.