Interestingly, New York Giants‘ first-round draft pick Justin Pugh played primarily right tackle at rookie camp recently. One of the reasons draft experts liked Pugh so much was because he had the versatility to play either tackle or guard. So, even though they had the chance to get one of their desired defensive players with the 19th pick (Bjoern Werner or Xavier Rhodes), the Giants went with the lesser-known Pugh in order to get younger on the offensive line.
No one knew what plans the Giants had for Pugh, but a move to right tackle would make sense. Veteran David Diehl had offseason knee surgery and might not be the player he used to be. Another option at tackle could be James Brewer, but he’s never started an NFL game. Pugh started at left tackle for three years at Syracuse, but the switch from left to right tackle is considered easier than the other way around. Pugh began the transition at the end of the Syracuse season, anticipating that it might be his home at the next level.
He said, “I have been working on my right tackle stance ever since then so it feels a lot better now. And just keep getting more and more reps, keep getting live reps against guys and as it gets better, it will get easier.”
Regardless of where he ends up, the Pugh pick is looking like one that will provide great depth to an aging offensive line. In the past, Giants’ fans have been critical of some of the draft choices of General Manager Jerry Reese. When all is said and done, I don’t expect this to be one of them.