I'm not against the whole "best player available" philosophy on a broad level. I think teams and fans often become too caught up in the here and now, obsessing with holes that weren't filled in the weeks that preceded the draft and overvaluing starters in certain positions that aren't perceived to be holes.
But the problem with said strategy is that it presupposes that we have the ability to know who the best available players are throughout the draft. And that simply isn't the case, as you can see plainly when reflecting on any draft with hindsight.
That's why I still believe teams must consider major areas of need and the importance of the position in question when making decisions on draft day. And if the New York Giants take that approach on April 25, they'll end up with a defensive player or an offensive tackle, not a tight end.
I bring this up because I'm concerned by all of the mock drafts floating around with Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert penciled in for the G-Men in the No. 19 spot.
Yes, the Giants lost Martellus Bennett on the free-agent market, but they signed one of the league's most productive pass-catching tight ends, Brandon Myers, to replace him. The versatile and reliable Bear Pascoe also remains on the roster, and only a year ago they spent a fourth-round pick on "JPP of tight ends" Adrien Robinson.
The Giants have succeeded without studs at the tight end position ever since the Jeremy Shockey era ended. And even in 2007 with Shockey on the roster, they went on their Super Bowl run with the former first-round pick on injured reserve.
New York has had four different starting tight ends in four years, and it hasn't hurt the offense one bit. This isn't a vital position, especially when you already have three very capable tight ends on the payroll.
So while the extremely gifted Eifert could very well be the best player available when Big Blue is on the clock, there'll also be quality pass-rushers, cornerbacks, linebackers, safeties and offensive tackles within reach—guys who can have a bigger impact on this team, short- and long-term.
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