Big Blue's Newest Apple
The New York Giants selected Eli Apple with their first round pick on Thursday night in Chicago. (Courtesy of Flickr)
After months of near fruitless deliberation and mock drafts, who would prove to be the apple of the Giants eye?
In what turned out to be an eventful start to this year’s show, the Giants added some much needed cornerback depth by choosing Eli Apple - a long, tall and fast cornerback out of Ohio State - with the tenth overall pick. Apple was the third player picked from Ohio State in the top ten, following teammates Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott who went third and fourth to the Chargers and Cowboys respectively, but this run by the Buckeyes wasn't the biggest story of the night - no, that belonged to Ole Miss’s offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and a less than stellar video which led to the consensus top six selection to be ripe for picking as the Giants were on the clock.
Having their top rated tackle sitting there right in front of them was not the only thing making this an interesting pick for the Giants. Other factors pointed to things seemingly not going their way as the Titans jumped up to 8 to grab Jack Conklin the tackle from Michigan State and the Bears one spot ahead of New York at 9 to take pass rusher Leonard Floyd - both players the Giants likely preferred to Apple.
With that being said, Jerry Reece (in typical Giants fashion) stuck to his draft board and did not let the chaos of the top ten sway him. In Apple, the Giants got the “highest rated player” on their board according to Reece. On top of that, the New York brass are confident they've added a necessary piece to the puzzle as well. “Absolutely, it’s a need pick” Reece said, “look out there at our corner depth and you can see that.” With Apple, the Giants feel more comfortable in preparing for the upgraded pass attack of all three teams in the NFC East. Not only in the East, but in a pass heavy league, “your third corner is essentially a starter now” said VP of Player Evaluation Marc Ross.
In other words, the Giants not only are confident that they got their third starting corner - but indications from both Ben Mcadoo and Jerry Reece indicate to the hopeful fan that Apple’s intangibles (being a big, physical corner) will allow him to be utilized all over the field in different packages. In addition to this potential hybrid ability, the Giants believe that his size will not prevent him from playing in the slot from day one.
All in all, the Giants did not let surrounding chaos deter them from their ultimate goal: to pick a player at ten who had value, while also filling a need. Apple was indeed the highest rated corner in the entire draft for the Giants and they got him. A player, according to GM Jerry Reece and year one coach Ben Mcadoo, who will have an immediate impact all over the field with the upside to eventually blossom into a number one outside corner.