You can put the myth that the New York Giants draft the best player available to bed finally after the Giants filled a major need along the offensive line with Syracuse left tackle Justin Pugh with the 19th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Pugh most likely projects as a guard in the NFL but could probably hold his own at right tackle, an area of need for the Giants.
Pugh is good enough to start right away for the Giants but he will likely be eased into the offensive line rotation. The Giants have a need at right tackle with David Diehl nearing the end of an illustrious career and James Brewer not developing into what the Giants had hoped when they selected him in the fourth round of the 2011 Draft. Brewer still has potential but he needs to translate that onto the field.
Pugh has two big knocks. He has short arms which will prohibit him from playing left tackle in the NFL most likely and he has a history of shoulder injuries which kept him out of four games in 2012. He has, however, started 33 games in college.
Pugh can add some bulk to his 6-4, 307 pound frame without sacrificing his quick first step. He has the talent to be a star at right tackle.
Giants GM Jerry Reese has already said that Pugh was their top rated player on their board. Of course he would say that but it was more likely he was the best player left on their board. The Giants, for some reason, are believed to draft the best player available. That is simply not true. They drafted Jason Pierre-Paul to replace Michael Strahan. Hakeem Nicks was drafted to replace Plaxico Burress. David Wilson was picked to replace Brandon Jacobs.
In Pugh, the Giants fill a major need on an offensive line that is in need of youth and athleticism and Pugh will provide that.