Plenty of Needs for New York Giants as Draft Nears
The New York Giants will have the 19th overall pick in the first round of this years’ NFL Draft which begins Thursday. The team has plenty of needs and could go a variety of directions this year. General Manager Jerry Reese and Head Coach Tom Coughlin will have a lot of tough decisions to make.
The offensive line is one of the more documented needs of the team. With injuries and age becoming a concern, expect the Giants to fill some holes with draft selections. Depending on who you ask, the Giants biggest need on the line could be center or guard.
Mike Pouncey (pictured), from Florida, would be a great fit as he can play both positions. Pouncey is the twin brother of the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman. If the Giants choose to just take the best offensive lineman left on the board, there are a few tackles who could be joining Big Blue. Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo seems to be the favorite of many, while Tyron Smith of USC and Nate Solder of Colorado are big names as well. Smith is expected to be off the board by the time the Giants pick however.
Running back and wide receiver are also needs heading into the draft. Sure, the Giants have Brandon Jacobs and will likely sign Ahmad Bradshaw but they lack depth after that. Johnny White out of North Carolina had visited the Giants during pre-draft workouts. The team may also be interested in fullback Shaun Chapas of Georgia. Of course, the biggest name in this years draft when it comes to running backs is Mark Ingram of Alabama.
A need at wide receiver opened up due to injuries suffered by Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, and Ramses Barden last season. Expect the Giants to fill this need later in the draft unless a can’t miss prospect unexpected falls in their lap early. Jonathan Baldwin of Pittsburgh would be a nice addition if he falls to the second or third round. While that is unlikely, some other names like DeMarco Sampson (San Diego State), Kris Durham (Georgia), and Jerrel Jernigan (Troy) have been thrown around.
Anothing big need for the G-Men is once again at linebacker. This seems to be something we discuss before every draft. The Giants have not had much luck when drafting linebackers recently and as a result, it’s still a need. Jonathan Goff was solid last season in the middle but after that, the Giants really did not have a consistent contributor at the position. Michael Boley has his moments and Clint Sintim is recovering from an ACL tear.
Texas A&M’s Von Miller is the top linebacker in this years draft and is a lock to be a Top 5 overall pick, meaning the Giants will not land him. The next best is Akeem Ayers out of UCLA. Ayers is the type that could play either inside or outside and contribute. Lack of speed is the issue with him however.
A potential steal could be North Carolina’s Bruce Carter. With his athleticism, Carter is a sideline-to-sideline type linebacker that would be an excellent contributor on special teams as well. Carter’s stock had dropped after suffering an ACL injury late in the season last year and has been unable to perform in pre-draft workouts. The question is, just how far would be fall.
Depending on which Giants fan you talk to, Tight End could be a need. Kevin Boss is a free agent that the Giants will look to re-sign once the labor situation is resolved. Even so, many Giants fans I have spoken to are not pleased with Boss and want to find a replacement.
Kyle Rudolph out of Notre Dame would be a immediate replacement. He brings size and great hands to the position and would be a threat in the passing game. Rudolph is a potential first rounder and unless all the lineman the Giants are interested in are gone, I don’t expect them to take the tight end. Other names to listen for in later rounds are Luke Stocker (Tennessee) and Lance Kendricks (Wisconsin).
New York may also take a look at some defensive backs, particularly cornerbacks. With Aaron Ross and Terrell Thomas entering the final year of their contracts, the team may look for depth as well as potential replacements. I would be surprised if the Giants re-signed both players after this season, assuming there is a season.The health of Kenny Phillips at Safety is also a concern.
It looks and sounds like the Giants will attempt to address their needs on the offensive line and linebacker positions early, grab some receivers and running backs in the middle, and finish up with the defensive backfield. Plenty of needs and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
The NFL Draft begins Thursday evening at 8pm EST and will run through Saturday.
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