NEW YORK (WFAN) — Jerry Reese insists his war room wasn’t caught off-guard when teams traded up in front of the Giants to grab offensive tackle Jack Conklin and linebacker Leonard Floyd in the first round of the NFL draft.
Some critics have suggested the Giants were unprepared and, as a result, ended up reaching for Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple.
PHOTOS: NFL Draft
“When somebody don’t know what they’re talking about, it’s easy to depict it that way,” Reese, the Giants’ general manager, told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Monday. ” … We had our board stacked. We had went through this scenario many times, and we thought that was one of the possibilities that could happen, and our mind was clearly made up that we would be happy with Eli Apple as our pick as No. 10.”
Reese said Apple was the top player on the Giants’ draft board at the time of their pick.
“He was an easy pick, and it was a value pick, No. 1, because he’s the highest player on our board and was a need pick because we have two corners, and like I said during the draft, if you only have two corners, you’re one corner short in this league,” Reese said.
Reese was elusive about whether the Twitter video showing Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil smoking from a gas mask bong had a role in the Giants not drafting him. Reese would only say the team did not remove Tunsil from its board and that “there was some interest there.”
Here’s what Reese had to say about the Giants’ other draft picks.
STERLING SHEPARD, WR, OKLAHOMA (SECOND ROUND)
“He’s very productive, tremendous football player. He can play inside, he can play out. People try to knock him because he’s 5-(foot)-10, but he’s one of those guys that plays bigger than his 5-10 frame indicates. He’s got a huge vertical jump. … So his strike zone is bigger than his 5-10 frame.”
DARIAN THOMPSON, S, BOISE STATE (THIRD ROUND)
“He’s a true free safety, and obviously he’s got a lot of production on the ball. We think he’s a ball hawk back there. I’m hearing people bang him on tackling, but we thought he was a really good tackler as well.”
B.J. GOODSON, LB, CLEMSON (FOURTH ROUND)
“Goodson was a nice pick for us right there, again at the top of our board at the time. We’ve been looking for linebackers for a while, and this guy, he can play anywhere. He can play all three. Probably end up as a middle linebacker, but we think he can play Will or Sam. Tough, physical player. Very productive. Very smart. Hard hitter.”
PAUL PERKINS, RB, UCLA (FIFTH ROUND)
“Perkins is an all-around player. He can run it, he can catch it, he can block, and he had that football toughness. He’ll help you on all your special teams. … He’s a very productive back. For the last two seasons, he’s been ultra-productive at a big time program, and he’ll create some competition at the running back level for us.”
JERELL ADAMS, TE, SOUTH CAROLINA (SIXTH ROUND)
“We think he’s farther along as a blocker right now. Actually, we thought he was the best blocker in this draft. He’s a big kid. Receiving skills need polish, but he is long, and you can throw some balls up to him, and he’s fast. He stretches a defense down the middle with his speed.”
To listen to the full interview with Reese, click on the audio player above.