There can be no mistake with this pick. There can be no reach with this pick. There can be no small school sleeper. There is but one player the Giants should be focused on and if he's there it shouldn't take long for them to turn in their draft card at the Garden. No suspense, no working the phone lines for a trade. That pick must be OT Robert Gallery from Iowa.
Why? Because, Gallery is a left tackle who should start from day one. No rookie learning curve here. Put him out there and let him play. He is about as technically sound as any tackle entering the league in recent memory. If you want a comparison, he is very much in the mold of Tony Boselli, a player Tom Coughlin knows very well. He's tough and mean on the field and his presence would go a long way toward rebuilding what was the worst offensive line in the NFL.
It also allows Luke Petitgout to return to right tackle where he belongs and where he was much more effective. But, this is the Giants we are talking about. Many times the guy they have targeted either gets picked right before them or someone trades in front of them to steal him. It's the black cloud that usually floats above this team on draft day. Earlier we said, 'if he is there.' They have to make sure he is there or be prepared to trade up and get him much like they did for Jeremy Shockey. Gallery is so sound that he may be the best player in the draft.
There are a couple of scenarios that could take place. Arizona is fixated on Larry Fitzgerald, the Pitt WR. San Diego is a disaster and needs help everywhere. The Chargers have let their roster deteriorate so badly that on paper they look like the worst team in the league. San Diego has two ways they can go. They can start the building process all over and take Eli Manning or they can trade down, maybe more than once, and accumulate picks to replenish their roster. We believe they will take the trade down route. They could swap with Arizona at number three. That would move the Cards ahead of the Raiders who are also into Fitzgerald and allow them to get their man. The Chargers at three could take Gallery since they have a tremendous hole at left tackle also. If that starts unfolding then the Giants must swap with the Raiders to make sure they get Gallery. The Raiders would welcome the trade down and everyone should be happy. In other words, the only excuse the Giants have for not getting Gallery is if the Chargers stay with the first pick and they take Gallery right there.
If they don't get Gallery, we are compelled to mention other alternatives. We believe there are two logical choices. One would be QB Ben Roethlisberger from Miami of Ohio. A case could be made for him as the QB of the future. He has talent and ability. Ideally, he would sit behind Kerry Collins for a while and learn. He has a big arm and he is fairly athletic for his size. He is not a now pick; he is a future pick. His presence may allow for them at some point to trade Collins. The problem is so far it looks like the Giants may have fallen further behind in the improving NFC East. The fact that up until now nothing has happened with an extension for Collins makes us think they may be considering this option.
The other way they could go is to take Sean Taylor, the safety from Miami. Safety is another huge need on this team. Taylor did not have a very good pro-day workout. He ran a 4.5, which is not awful for a 230-pound safety, but it was on a very fast track. Most believed he was not in shape to do the agility drills and he came down with a convenient hamstring tweak. It is disappointing that he was not prepared for such a huge event in his career. At that time he had not selected an agent, so you could say there was no one there to push him or get him ready, but that would be an excuse and a poor one at that. He has since signed on with Drew Rosenhaus, so you can expect that will change. They have already scheduled a second workout day. Despite his lethargic workout, this guy can play. He's big and he is a playmaker. With his size it is not out of the question that he could project to linebacker also, but with the Giants he would fill the safety need.
Round One: Make it happen. Get Robert Gallery.
Why the Giants MUST draft Robert Gallery
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