NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Ask any NFL fan and they’ll tell you the draft is one of the most exciting events of the year. After all, your favorite team usually has only one chance to get it right in the first round.
The Giants and Jets, judging from their post-draft press conferences, are happy with their picks. St. John’s, though, also added a big name recruit on Thursday.
So which of the NYC locals made out best in the name game?
The Giants were up first at No. 19 and didn’t hesitate to take Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara.
Amukamara had five interceptions as a junior, but none last season. The lack of production can be attributed to the fact that many teams did not challenge the 6-foot senior who some experts compare to Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis because of his ability to shut down the opposition’s top receiver.
LISTEN: Giants coach Tom Coughlin on picking Amukamara
Giants general manager Jerry Reese was careful not to make that comparison.
“He’ll have to prove that,” Reese said. “He has some qualities like that, but he’ll have to prove that. Darrelle Revis has done it. He has not played a snap yet, but we think he has a good skill set and he’s in the rotation right away.”
One of criticisms of Amukamara coming into the draft were that his arms were too short. Reese downplayed it, saying that at 6-feet, the length of his arms were not an issue.
Then there’s the Jets, who selected Temple defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson with the 30th overall pick.
The 6-foot-4½, 305-pound Wilkerson had 9½ sacks last year for the Owls, and should immediately help the Jets, who were searching for a legitimate pass rusher.
Wilkerson was the Owls’ most valuable defensive player last season and decided to skip his senior season to enter the draft. A team captain, Wilkerson was named to the Outland Trophy watch list, and finished his career with 17½ sacks.
LISTEN: Ryan, GM Mike Tannenbaum on Wilkerson
“I think Muhammad really fits what we want to do defensively,” coach Rex Ryan said. “Really, he really was an outstanding fit for what we do.”
Even draft guru Mel Kiper liked the selection, praising it on the TV broadcast. “You can make an argument this is the best pick of the first round,” he said.
That brings us to the wild card — Steve Lavin’s Red Storm.
St. John’s added JUCO All-America God’s Gift Achiuwa yesterday, adding the Nigerian to a class that includes six players rated in the top 100 prospects by many recruiting services.
The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Achiuwa led Erie Community College to a 28-4 record in 2010-11 and a fourth-place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament. He ranked ninth in the NJCAA in scoring (22.3), 10th in rebounding (11.7) and 17th in blocks (2.2). He shot 56.0 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from 3-point range.
NYC is now the proud home of a Prince, a Muhammad and a God’s Gift. So let’s hear it: Who made the biggest splash? Be heard in the comments below…
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