Ahmad Bradshaw didn't think there was a need to draft a running back. Then again, he's just a running back, not a general manager.
What Jerry Reese might do is anybody's guess at this point. If he knew today his draft strategy for next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, he wasn't letting on during the traditional media cat-and-mouse pre-draft session with him. But we do know this. The Giants have shown great interest in Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. But then again, they've also shown great interest in Alabama inside linebacker Rolando McClain, and South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, and maybe, oh, 100 or so other guys, the names and order of whom rest under lock and key on the Giants' value board.
Needless to say, Reese wouldn't talk specifics. But when asked about drafting high at a position of depth -- say, running back -- he didn't discount it. So even though Bradshaw noted a backfield depth that also includes starter Brandon Jacobs, and backups Gartrell Johnson and Danny Ware, Reese wouldn't rule out anybody based on positional surplus.
Now, whether that means he's got his eyes on Spiller if he's there, who knows? But the idea isn't without precedent.
"Back when we drafted (Mathias) Kiwanuka we had (Michael) Strahan, we had (Justin) Tuck, and we had Osi (Umenyiora)," Reese said. "But he was the best guy on the board right there at that time. There was no way we were going to pass him up. So it doesn’t preclude us from drafting even if we have depth at a position; if he is the best guy up there, it is going to be hard for us to pass him up."
Not that there wouldn't be a lot of discussion about it.
"There was conversation about that," he said. "We had a great conversation about it. It is great conversation when a situation like that arises. But you just have to make the best decision for your team.
"You are not just looking for what is going to happen tomorrow. You have to look into what is happening in the future with your team as well and try to see the big picture from where I’m standing."
From where everybody is standing, the Giants' running backs are still a battered group, with Bradshaw having just taken his first running steps since feet and knee surgery in January, and Jacobs slowly coming back from knee surgery. So there are no certainties, healthwise, with that bunch. But Reese said the team also has to be cautious about overstocking the position.
"There is always some thought about what if this guy goes down right away," Reese said. "So you always try to create enough depth at those positions to get yourself through. But again, you only have 53 spots so you can’t have 10 running backs."
He also discounted scheme as a reason to pass on a good athlete. Of course, we didn't dare mention McClain by name, but Reese said the idea of an inside linebacker transitioning from a 3-4 (like Alabama's) to the middle of a 4-3 (like the Giants) is certainly not a rarity.
"A good athlete is a good athlete," he said. "The object is to get a good player."
Still, no commitment to a first-round linebacker, though he didn't exactly give a ringing endorsement to an incumbent group of MIKE candidates that includes Jonathan Goff, Bryan Kehl, Gerris Wilkinson, and Chase Blackburn.
"I think there are some linebackers on our team that need to prove that they can do it," he said. "Just like last year, I thought there were some receivers – I do have some confidence in some guys on our roster that haven’t played a lot. I want them to step out of the shadows and show us what they have. I do expect that.
"But that won’t preclude us from continuing to look to upgrade that position."
Whether he trades up or down will depend on the movement in front of him on draft day. He said he hasn't gotten any more phone calls than usual for potential draft-day trades, and he doesn't expect the first-round's move to a solo showing at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday should produce no more trades than the noon draft starts of other years have produced. Nor should the 22 1/2-hour gap between Rounds 1 and 2-3 on Friday.
"It just gives us more time to overanalyze what we have already overanalyzed is basically how that works," he said. "It is not a big deal that it is from Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It is just a small adjustment – small stuff I think."
So there you have it, from the mouth of Jerry Reese.
Draft for depth? Check.
Draft for position? Check.
Running back? Check.
Any other position on the team? Check.
Trade up, trade down? Check.
I don't know about you, but the strategy at No. 15 couldn't be any clearer to me.
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