Giants couldn't pass on charming Prince

Posted April 29, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Meet Prince Amukamara and you like him instantly. Watch him play and you tend to like him more.

The Giants had a pick fall into their laps, and they couldn't resist. Need schmeed. This kid was too good to be on the board at No. 19.

That's how GM Jerry Reese drafts. It's how Ernie Accorsi learned from George Young and what Accorsi passed on to Reese. You take value, and worry about need down the line.

It's how Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka became Giants. Same with Jason Pierre-Paul last year. And pass rushers are like corners: You can never have too many. Tom Coughlin said those exact words on Thursday night. Reese said the key word: value.

"He was too much value," Reese said. "And it is a need pick as well for me. He will come in and he will play right away. He will be in the mix in our secondary right away."

This is in some question at first glance. The Giants are well-stocked at cornerback with Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross. They're also fairly loaded at safety too, so there's little chance there will be a lot of position switching. So where does Amukamara fit in?

Well, Ross could be wedged out of the mix. He was down last season and really hasn't been the same since getting hurt and losing his starting spot two years ago. That would make Amukamara a natural fit for the slot CB spot, a position that could put him on the field for 60 percent of the snaps next season.

The knocks on Amukamara are that his arms are surprisingly short and that he can struggle at times with bigger receivers. Well, putting him in the slot solves both for now: He won't be asked to press-cover slot receiver, who often are put in motion or are off the line, and those guys tend to be smaller, quicker wideouts. As he eases his way into the starting lineup, which could be two years down the road, they'll work with him on those things.

Coughlin knows Amukamara can play right away because he has great football IQ, he's tough, he can tackle well and he's a leader of men. As in, he's an actual prince, the son of a talented Nigerian soccer player and an Olympic sprinter. Character-wise and athletically, Prince is no pauper.

The Giants had to pull the trigger on this. They can fill needs later. They landed an excellent player.