3. Justin Pugh
Position: Offensive Guard
Overall Pick: 19
Year Drafted: 2013
Justin Pugh was not a celebrated draft pick. Pundits thought his arms were too short to make him an effective tackle. Fans were annoyed that the Giants took an offensive lineman instead of a sexier option.
3 years later, and it is clear that the Giants pick paid off. Pugh is the heart of the Giants offensive line, a line that nearly imploded in the five games that Pugh was out injured. While he isn’t the most physically gifted offensive tackle, he was a very safe pick, and is one of two above average lineman that the Giants have (Weston Richburg being the other).
Look at the Dallas Cowboys. They spent three first round picks on their offensive line, and as a result, they have the best rushing attack in football. Tackle Tyron Smith, guard Zack Martin, and center Travis Frederick are among the best, if not the best, in the NFL at their respective positions.
Pugh might not be as good as any of those guys, but he is still an above average offensive lineman and a leader on this team. Pugh might even get a Pro Bowl nod this year. He’s been that good when he’s been healthy.
Moral of the story: Sometimes the non-sexy picks turn out just as good as the sexy ones.