Giants Busy on Draft Day

Move down and get the guy you targeted. Move up and land your man. It was unconventional and in some ways a bit baffling, but the Giants yesterday believe they manipulated the NFL Draft to suit their needs.

In the first round, the Giants nearly traded completely out of the round, dropping from No. 25 to the 32nd overall pick to shockingly select Mathias Kiwanuka, a pass-rushing defensive end from Boston College. That might sound odd, considering the Giants already have two of the NFL's supreme pass-rushing defensive ends in Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora.

Then, a team that eschewed two more highly-touted receivers went against its tendency of preferring towering targets to trade up in the second round to nab tiny speed demon Sinorice Moss of Miami.

Of the myriad of players the Giants could have taken, no one anticipated them scooping up a defensive end. "It's my philosophy and shared by people in this organization you never, ever have enough pass rushers,'' GM Ernie Accorsi said. "They are like home run hitters and pitchers. You just never have enough of them.''

The Giants sure have plenty of them. Strahan and Umenyiora are Pro Bowlers and getting to the quarterback is also the strength of second-year Justin Tuck. Plus, the Giants just signed LaVar Arrington, one of the most gifted pass-rushing linebackers in captivity. Where Kiwanuka fits in may be a mystery but coach Tom Coughlin said "Scheme-wise we can arrange that,'' and Accorsi added "Suffice it to say we wouldn't have picked him if we didn't feel he would be on the field.''

It was quite an unpredictable afternoon for the Giants. In the second round, they swapped second-round picks with the Colts (moving up from No. 56 to No. 44) to take Moss, younger brother of Santana Moss, a played Accorsi coveted five years ago. The Giants also gave their third-round pick (87th overall) to the Colts.

Moss was the Giants top-rated receiver in the entire draft.

"We do have big receivers,'' Accorsi said. "We needed that type of receiver. He is not a possession guy. Speed kills.''

Owning the 25th overall pick, the Giants opted to trade with the Steelers, acquiring the 32nd overall pick - the very last selection in the first round. The Steelers moved up to take Ohio State receiver Santonio Holmes. In return, the Giants acquired two draft picks from Pittsburgh - a third-round pick (96th overall) and a fourth-round pick (129th overall). It was the fourth time in the last six years Accorsi orchestrated a trade in the first round. In all, the Giants began the day owning six picks and ended it owning seven.

Trading down seven spots was only a minor risk in the eyes of the Giants. There were seven players remaining on the board "we could have lived with'' according to Accorsi and five players "we would have been happy with.'' Three of the five were still there at No. 32 and Kiwanuka was the highest-rated of the five.

After No. 25 and before No. 32, the Giants would have been happy with defensive tackle John McCargo (who went to the Bills at No. 26) and cornerback Kelly Jennings (who went at No. 31 to the Seahawks).

If the Giants stayed at No. 25 they would have picked Kiwanuka anyway.

Moss is only 5-8 and 185 pounds but he's been clocked at 4.39. He figures to fit in immediately as a slot receiver and jet-quick compliment to Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. Moss was not very productive at Miami operating with a far weaker passing attach than his brother Santana enjoyed.

"I don't want to put that on him, but if he's as good as his brother that would be great,'' said Accorsi, who added the Giants would have taken Moss in the first round if other options weren't available.

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