One thing the New York Giants should have no regrets about is drafting offensive tackle Justin Pugh in the first round of this past year’s draft. Pugh was recently named to the Pro Football Writers Association 2013 All-Rookie Team.
The Giants drafted Pugh 19th overall out of Syracuse University. Due to several injuries along the o-line, Pugh was thrown into the fire at the beginning of the season and went on to start all 16 games at right tackle. He was the first Giants rookie to start all 16 games since Barry Cofield in 2006 and the first Giants offensive lineman to do so since David Diehl in 2003.
Like any rookie, Pugh experienced some growing pains, but eventually he was able to find a groove. Pugh developed into the lone bright spot on a New York offensive line that shouldered the majority of the blame for the offense’s constant struggles.
The o-line is sure to be reconstructed in the offseason but the Giants must be confident based on what they saw from Pugh this year. Pugh may be forced to switch sides or even positions along the line. However, he stated that he is open to do what is best for the team.
It’s never a sexy pick when a team drafts an offensive lineman in the first round. However, in the case of the Giants it seems to have paid off. It’s scary to imagine where the offensive line would have been this season if it wasn’t for the emergence of Justin Pugh.