With the No. 19 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the New York Giants selected Syracuse Orange offensive tackle Justin Pugh. Pugh is the No. 57-rated player in the draft rankings from SB Nation's Dan Kadar and the sixth-rated offensive tackle.
Pugh, 22, was a three-year starter at left tackle for Syracuse and earned all-conference honors in each season. After missing his entire freshman season, Pugh had a season of eligibility remaining, but elected to enter the 2013 NFL Draft with a degree already in hand.
With several positions in question on the offensive line, Pugh looks to have a strong chance of starting in his rookie season. David Diehl needs to be upgraded at right tackle, but Pugh is a versatile lineman and could move around on the front five.
In a scouting report on Gang Green Nation, the following were listed as positives for Pugh:
Exceptional pass protector who has excellent balance, and manages to mirror pass rushers to keep them out of the backfield. Has excellent hands that he sets and re-sets if rocked, sinks his hips to counter power moves and rarely gets beat off the line. His pass protecting is among the best in the nation. Has good power when in-line blocking and works well in space, has good balance and initial surge to knock defenders back, very good lateral ability to seal off the edge. Works to the next level and plays to the whistle, good blitz recognition and his coaches have commented how he picks up the blocking schemes quickly. Finishes his blocks and shows a toughness and core strength that will make him a good prospect at either the left tackle or right tackle position.
Although he was a very good left tackle at Syracuse, his shorter arms and less-than-stellar performance at the 2013 Senior Bowl have led many to project Pugh to move inside and play guard. Also concerning was a shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the first four games of the 2012 season. However, if both of those check out, Pugh has plenty of upside and the potential to be as good as any offensive tackle from the draft class.