Showtime: For Accorsi, Draft time's the best

Like a child on Christmas morning, this is Ernie Accorsi's favorite time of year. The season? No fun at all. You see, he can't control anything. Draft weekend, however, is when Accorsi makes his money, when he proves his worth.

"You never have to waver or worry during the draft, the pressure's on us," said Accorsi of he and his scouting staff. "It's definitely my favorite time of year. I hate the games. The fun part is the draft – that's the best part."

So, having to wait countless hours until your turn to choose at number 25 this year comes up is fun?

"Yeah, I'm glad we're not a part of that flurry at the top," Accorsi explained. "There are always tough decisions to be made no matter where you pick."

The reason for Accorsi's calm demeanor regarding the Giants future number one pick is because he knows without a shadow of a doubt that he and his scouts will be prepared for whatever unfolds before they choose.

"I have never passed or been part of a pass in 35 years," Accorsi said proudly.

That's because the key, according to the Giants' general manager, is to always have enough players that you're enamored with, regardless of your draft slot. Picking 25th? Easy. Just make sure you have 25 players you like and you're guaranteed to get one of them.

In the later rounds, Accorsi said you have to start whittling your options down when you get within 10-12 spots of your selection.

"It's just as intriguing down there," he said. "We spend so much time on all this stuff that the sixth round is intriguing to us."

The main prerequisite of draft success is to keep the emotions in check, something that's easier said than done.

"You have to guard against emotion," Accorsi said. "That can play such a huge part. You can get demoralized by someone being taken right before you if your allow yourself to."

Because of his preparedness, Accorsi is famous for his quick trigger finger, which he's fortunate was a little slow two years back. You see, had the Giants selected immediately when on the clock at number four, it wouldn't have given the Chargers the "seven or eight minutes" it took to allow Accorsi to make the trade for Eli Manning.

"I almost always pick right away," Accorsi said. "You're usually so excited about the player you're about to get. But I'm glad I waited then. It gave them a chance to call me."

As a result of the Manning deal, Accorsi was sans a first-round pick last year. Now he's back picking at number 25, the exact spot from which he landed DT William Joseph out of Miami three years ago.

While the Giants were in desperate need of DL help at the time and nine D-linemen had already been snatched, Accorsi vows the Giants took the best player on their 2003 Draft board.

"We didn't force him, we had him rated very highly," Accorsi said. "We made the right pick."

While Accorsi wouldn't confirm for public consumption, TGI knows that the other player the Giants strongly considered at that spot – Clemson DT Nick Eason – has been nothing short of a major disappointment thus far in his career. Eason, now with the Browns, only spent one full year with Denver, the club that drafted him, and has yet to make his first NFL start.

Recollections of Joseph lead us to the fact that the Giants are in dire need of linebacking help this time around. Not surprisingly, Accorsi wouldn't even admit that.

"We have several positions we could go with there," he said. "We're going to take the best player."

What was surprising was that Accorsi even admitted that this year's crop of linebackers is a deep one.

"We are obviously very thin at linebacker and this draft is very deep there," Accorsi stated.

After the offseason free agent signing frenzy to restock the defensive backfield, Accorsi said he "feels pretty good about the team."

"I think we shored up the secondary," he said. "With (Will) Peterson's injury still a question mark and now there's no pressure on a guy like Curtis Deloatch (who was thrust into emergency duty last year). He can just develop and learn."

So whom will the Giants end up with at 25? C'mon, Ernie, not even a little hint?

"We feel we're going to get a very good player there," Accorsi said. "You can't predict what's going to happen."

Well, actually you can, but Accorsi plans to leave that to us.

Ernie's favorite draft memory – a true Yogi-ism

Early in the 70s, while still working public relations for the Baltimore Colts, Accorsi made his first draft choice – a good two-and-a-half decades before he started choosing players for the Giants.

That year the Colts set a record for having the most draft choices and Colts draft guru Joe Thomas was literally running out of names to choose from. When the Colts final pick came up, Thomas turned to Accorsi and told him to make the choice.

"I was just the PR director at the time," Accorsi laughed. "I just picked a name off the bottom of the floor."

Being the PR maven that he was, Accorsi selected a receiver from Massachusetts – Tim Berra. Yup, you guessed it, Yogi's son.

"Would you believe he made the team as a kick returner," Accorsi beamed. "He only lasted a year, but he made it. What did you want? He was a UMass receiver with Yogi's speed."

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