Syracuse had three players—Justin Pugh, Ryan Nassib and Shamarko Thomas—taken in the 2013 NFL draft. Here is a breakdown of each player:
OL Justin Pugh, 19th pick, New York Giants: The Giants have an opening at right tackle, and Pugh will have a chance to compete for the position right away against David Diehl and James Brewer. If Pugh doesn’t win that job, he’ll still have plenty of opportunities to see the field because of his versatility. With an aging front line and Kevin Boothe and David Diehl expected to hit free agency in 2014, Pugh will figure into the Giants long-term plans one way or the other.
QB Ryan Nassib, 110th pick, New York Giants: Giants general manager Jerry Reese said it best when asked about Ryan Nassib. “We actually hope this guy never plays.” Nassib will be the third string quarterback behind three-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, and second stringer David Carr. Manning has been the starter since 2004 and is currently in the prime of his career. But Carr is only signed through the 2013-14 season, and there is always a good need for a backup quarterback. Still, it was a curious move for the Giants, who had to trade the No. 116 and 187 pick to Arizona to draft Nassib at 110. Then again, Nassib was projected as high as a top 10 pick, so getting that kind of value in the fourth round is hard to argue with.
S Shamarko Thomas, 111th pick, Pittsburgh Steelers: The last time Pittsburgh traded away a future draft choice was in 1973. Yet, that is exactly what the Steelers did on Saturday, shipping their 2014 third round pick to Cleveland for the chance to snag Thomas. The trade makes sense, because it bolsters a secondary that was depleted by the free agent defections of Will Allen and Ryan Mundy. Though Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark are firmly entrenched at the safety positions, there isn’t much depth at the position, so Thomas will have an opportunity to play right away.
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