In the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Giants made a bold trade to move up and take Ryan Nassib. Unfortunately for the Giants, this was the wrong move. By taking Nassib, the Giants left local product Khaseem Greene on the board.
Greene, who graduated from Rutgers, was named an All-American this season in addition to Big East Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
He was a safety until he converted to linebacker for his junior season at Rutgers. With experience at safety, Greene is best suited to pass coverage. With the progression of the NFL becoming more of a passing league, linebackers who can play the pass are more coveted than ever.
Any draft guru will tell you not to draft based on need, but instead focus on obtaining the best player available. At some point, however, you must begin to fill in the holes on your roster.
In selecting Nassib, the Giants undoubtedly picked up good value, but when you have the opportunity to pick up a valuable player while simultaneously addressing a shortcoming on your roster, then you’ve truly made the right move.
The Giants have a severe lack of depth on their linebacking corps, a deficit that was not tackled at any point in the draft.
The team only has three outside linebackers on the current roster. While the Giants’ existing outside linebackers have youth on their side, all 26 or younger, there just aren’t enough of them to handle the grueling NFL season.
The issue is not with Nassib’s ability; he is blocked by current quarterback Eli Manning, who doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere any time soon. The two best-case scenarios for Nassib are to take over for Manning several years down the road or be traded for a better draft pick in the coming years.
It was by no means a bad pick. However, the Giants simply could have done better.
Greene was picked 117th overall by the Chicago Bears, only seven picks behind Nassib. Chicago fans seem to be excited about the selection, even after obtaining fellow linebacker Jonathan Bostic in the second round.
If the Giants had made the better move of selecting Greene, they would have a player with the potential to make an impact on the team, not just down the road, but immediately as well.