Reese Happy With First Draft

Giants GM Jerry Reese was pleased with how his first draft unfolded. Here's what Reese had to say Sunday evening.

New Giants GM Jerry Reese was pleased with how his first draft unfolded. Here's what Reese had to say Sunday evening. 

Q:  Are you pleased at what you came away with?

A:  I think we had a solid draft.  We tried to pick players – we got a bunch of value picks plus needs picks.  So I think we helped ourselves.

Q:  What was the theme of this draft?  As you look back at it as a whole, what did the Giants do?

A:  I think we got better in a lot of need positions.  We had value picks.  We got better because we picked guys with character; we picked guys that were team oriented players.  We picked guys with talent.  Those were some of our goals.

Q:  You plugged almost every hole.  Was there anything you weren't able to do that you wanted to do?

A:  We didn't pick Calvin Johnson.  We did; we plugged some holes that we needed.  The best part about that is that we plugged them with some value picks as well. 

Q:  You talked yesterday about the chance to maybe move up a little bit.  Would you characterize it more as not a ‘safe' draft but a ‘solid' draft?

A:  Yes.  It was a solid draft.  Our value chart – what it would cost to trade up.  The opportunities presented weren't fair value.  We are not overpaying for guys unless it was somebody that we really, really loved or couldn't live without, we might give up some extra picks.  But the picks that we would have given up, they didn't match the correct value.  We didn't want to overextend ourselves.

Q:  Is there a guy in the second half of your draft that really jumps out at you; a value guy?

A:  Obviously the first pick in the second half; he should be the best guy because that is the guy we picked – (Zak) DeOssie.  I think he has a lot of value.  Number one, he is big, he is fast, he is athletic.  His gymnastic numbers at the Combine were off the charts.  The low level of comp, you have to weigh that.  But you evaluate everybody the same.  So we weigh in that he played at Brown. So we also weigh in that he is big, he is fast, he plays hard, he has great character, he long snaps.  Ryan Kuehl is going to be here for a couple more years, maybe, but after that, this kid could be your long snapper, save you a roster spot.  So he had value in a lot of ways.  He can actually run down the field and probably make a tackle.  And he will play on all special teams.

Q:  Tom was just talking about Mathias Kiwanuka possibly moving to linebacker.  As a talent evaluator and what you see from him, is that a transition that he can make?  And is it easy?

A:  There is no question he can make the transition to outside linebacker.  There is no question about it.  He can play SAM linebacker.

Q:  Why do you say that?

A:  Because he is athletic, he is long, he is tall.  You want your SAM to have some height with him to play......technique on the end of the line.  So he can do all of this.  He is athletic.  Actually he zone-dropped a couple of times and had a couple of interceptions last year. 

Q:  We understand he can do that.  As far as from a third-down, straight-ahead perspective.  But he can do that first and second-down?

A:  I don't think there is any question about it.

Q:  Before the draft maybe a lot of people looked at your linebackers and didn't include him there. 

A:  I told you guys yesterday that we have linebackers. 

Q:  So did that play into your draft?

A:  I didn't tell you that Mathias was a linebacker.  But I told you that we have linebackers.

Q:  But coming into the draft was that a name you included and thought, "Well, maybe it's not as much of a need as other people think?

A:  No question about it.  We have him penciled in as our SAM linebacker.  So linebacker wasn't a pressing need for us.  You guys probably thought it was but it wasn't.

Q:  Do you have him penciled in as your starting SAM?

A:  We have him penciled in as our starting SAM linebacker right now. 

Q:  Did that happen when Steve Spagnuolo got here, was that when the conversation occurred, or did it start as far back as last year?

A:  We have two very good defensive ends and this guy is a very good football player and we think he can make the transition very easily.  And we want our best players on the field.  So we penciled the guy in a long time ago.

Q:  You also drafted DeOssie , he's a  SAM linebacker, there are a lot of SAM linebackers. Can one of those guys play on the weakside?

A:  Both of those guys can play SAM.  DeOssie is probably not going to come in and beat anybody out right now I don't think. He may be able to beat someone out (in the future) but he can be a solid backup SAM linebacker and play on special teams.

Q:  What about Kawika Mitchell?

A:  He can play on the outside, he can play SAM.  He can play all over the place. He can play the middle.  He can play any of the spots.  Q:  Who do you have penciled in on the weak side? A:  Right now it is going to between (Kawika) Mitchell and Gerris Wilkinson. Not necessarily in that order. 

Q:  If someone had told you a few days ago, "this is your draft," these are the seven or eight guys you have.  What would you have said?

A:  I would have said that we made some real solid picks; some character guys.  The last guy we picked (the compensatory pick) he has some (character concerns) on him.  But he is going to be on a short leash.  We are not going to have guys come in here and disrupt things.  All of the background stuff we did on him we think he is a good kid.  He needs a little bit of structure.  But he was worth taking a shot on.  He is very productive, change of pace; he can catch the ball out of the backfield.  So we will give him a shot. 

Q:  The tight end that you drafted, he is basically more of a pass catcher right now?

A:  He is a pass catcher right now more than he is a blocker.  But I think he can develop as a blocker.  He just has to get stronger, get in the weight room.  He can develop.  I think you can develop much easier as a blocker than you can a pass catcher.  You can catch or you can't, pretty much.  It's hard to develop guys that aren't pass catchers.  You can get stronger and develop.

RE:  Realizing (Zak DeOssie) was a strong need, do you draft a player on his ability to be an outstanding long snapper?

A:  Not necessarily.  At some point he may be the starting SAM linebacker.  So we thought he had value that way.  He is always going to play on the core special teams.  You want big, fast athletes on your core special teams.  The long snap is something (that adds value).    At some point in his career the guy is going to battle for a starting spot. 

Q:  Was Steve Smith, in part, drafted as insurance policy for Sinorice Moss?

A:  Well, I don't know if it was an insurance policy, but he gives us depth at that position. He is a polished receiver that can come in – we don't know how soon – Amani  is ahead of schedule and we are encouraged about that but you never know.  And Sinorice was hurt some last year.  So we thought we needed to make sure we had some people at that position.

Q:  Is there an area of your team – offense or defense – that you are still shaky about?

A:  That question is probably leading to, "What are you going to do at left tackle?"  In all of the e-mails you talk about left tackle.  There are still some things that we can do.

Q:  Is there a left tackle available?

A:  I've said this already, but again, we won a game – I was told not to say ‘games.'  We won a game with David Diehl at left tackle.  And if we have to play him out there, we will be okay. Don't forget Guy Whimper.  I think Guy Whimper is a good football player.  I think he is going to be a very good football player at left tackle.  So don't discount Guy Whimper as a left tackle.

Q:  You said you would be the tie-breaker, if necessary, before the draft. Did you have to break any ties?

A:  I don't think I ever fought for the players.  In the draft room I just say, "Guys, put the facts up.  What are the facts?  Can this guy do this?  What can he do?"  I want to know what the player does.  You can put holes in anybody.  You can put holes in Calvin Johnson.  You could say that he is big, he ran fast, but he doesn't play that fast.  Or his legs are too long, or whatever.  You can put holes in any of the guys if you want to.  So I don't think I was fighting for players.  I just wanted to make sure that we knew what the facts were on the players.  Why not this player?  A lot of times you get into the rows.  Why …. First row, second row, whatever.  I will give you a perfect example.  The defensive end, Osi (Umenyiora).  We would have loved to have Osi in the third round.  But if you want him you have to take him in the second row.  You can't pick him in the third row, because he is not going to be there when you pick in the third row.  So the dynamics of the draft are if you want a guy that the value is probably in the second row, you probably have to pick him in the first row, because you are not getting him in the second.  That's really how it works.

Q:  Were there guys that you took a calculated risk as being in the second row and they weren't?

A: There are always guys you are hoping to be in the second row. But we are in the reality business, more than likely they are not going to be in the second row.  We always are like, "Well maybe he will fall."  Sometimes they do fall.  But more times than not, they are not there when you want to pick them.

Q:  Did somebody surprise you by not being there?

A:  Nothing surprises me in the draft.  So I won't say that I got surprised by anything that happened. 

Q: Did you feel like you might have to pick DeOssie earlier than you did if you wanted to get him?

A: We did talk about DeOssie.  We did talk about him in the third.  But the defensive tackle had more value at that time for us.  He was still there in the fourth and we were very pleased that he was still here.  I think we got a real value pick right there. 

Q:  Are you taking tomorrow off?

A:  Absolutely not.  Tomorrow I have exit interviews with the scouts before they go home and then take them out to dinner tomorrow night. Then I have to try to find a replacement for Director of Player Personnel.

RE: Draft picks from West Coast Schools.

A:  Look at their name, what their body of work is, Oregon State, or Arizona.  Koets, obviously he has some strength issues.  We think he is a really good athlete; a big kid.  Everything with him is going to be strength related right now.  But we do feel like he can get stronger and contribute at some point.  Michael Johnson is a big safety and has played a lot out there in the PAC 10.  He has a lot of range.  He worked out pretty good at the Combine.  He is a seventh-round pick.  But again, when you get down in the seventh round you start, "What can the guy do; what does he have?"  He is big, he has speed, you have to concentrate on what the people can do when you get down that far.

Q:  A couple of weeks ago you said that you would make the decision if need be.  Did you have to make any?

A:  I think everybody was onboard pretty much with all of our picks.  I think a couple of times we started nit-picking on some things down there.  So I said, "Let's not nit-pick on guys.  If they are good enough and everybody likes him to a degree, let's pick him; let's not nit-pick." 

Q:  Did you look around for Ernie at all? A:  No. RE:  Guy Whimper – has he been talked about as a right tackle? A:  He practiced at both places.  He does have that athletic skill to play left tackle.  No question about that.    Q:  Is the answer to left tackle either Diehl or Whimper right now?

A:  Right now it is.

Q:  McKenzie wouldn't shift over?

A:  No.  But there are still some things that we can do at left tackle.  But right now if we had to go we would go with who we have.

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