NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Justin Pugh has been described as an athletic and versatile lineman rather than a tough, old-school kind of player.
The Giants’ first-round draft pick never got into any trouble off the field and earned the respect of teammates and coaches for his disciplined approach. Giants GM Jerry Reese has praised Pugh for his smarts and versatility.
Still, Pugh is out to prove doubters wrong. Some consider Pugh to be “too soft.” Former Syracuse teammate and fellow Giants rookie Ryan Nassib has seen Pugh’s physicality make opponents quit late in games.
“He’s one tough dude,” Nassib told the New York Daily News. “I’ve seen him many a time make his opponent quit. It’s almost humorous when guys stop rushing him at the end of games.”
Pugh was taken 19th overall by the Giants at the 2013 NFL Draft after leading the Orange to an 8-5 season. He spoke to Bucks County Local News last Saturday about his ability to make opponents “check out” of battles in the trenches.
“My whole objective was to make (opponents) quit. I want to have the guy I’m going up against quit the game and check out.”
He’ll have the chance to show the Giants what he’s about Friday at the start of rookie mini camp.
“I told the scouts he has a little bit more of a defensive player mentality playing offense,” Syracuse assistant athletics director for athletic performance Will Hicks told the Daily News. “Most offensive linemen are real technician types. But he’s kind of a tough guy. He finishes his blocks. He’s got a little mean streak in him.”
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