- Jeff Haynes/AP
The New York Giants surprised the NFL world during the first round of the draft when they took Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple with the tenth pick.
Though Apple was considered a first-round talent, mock drafts mostly had him going lower, and few of them had the Giants taking him with a pick many felt they needed to nail.
ESPN’s NFL insider John Clayton recently discussed the pick on 97.5 The Fanatic, and said that it appears Apple wasn’t really the Giants’ first choice. Instead, the team had an “intelligence failure” that led them to “reach” for Apple.
“For the Giants, clearly it was intelligence failure. It wasn’t intelligence as far as the selection, but the intelligence in the office, because I was hearing, like everyone else, that John Mara wanted to take Jack Conklin. He was going to try [to] push Jerry Reese to do that.
“However, Jerry and the staff were looking to take Leonard Floyd. … Guess what, two teams jumped the Giants and now they had to reach a little bit to take Eli Apple. That kind of diminishes it a little bit.”
Clearly, this isn’t a ringing endorsement for the Giants front office.
Prior to the draft, teams like to put out smokescreens to hide their intentions of whom they plan to draft. From what Clayton says, it sounds like the Giants did a horrible job of that, as their top two prospects were snagged before the tenth pick, with the Bears actually jumping them in a trade to take Floyd with the ninth pick.
Furthermore, if the Giants weren’t entirely sold on Apple as the tenth pick, it shows a lack of quick thinking to not try to trade down, select Apple or another prospect lower, and get an extra pick in the process.
This says nothing of how Apple could help a revamped Giants defense, but it’s not a promising sign for how the front office handled the draft, particularly after a massive spending spree in free agency.