Discount the Giants’ chances in a big game and risk feeling foolish. However, assuming they are postseason locks has been similarly dangerous in recent seasons. In the last four campaigns, the Giants have one Super Bowl title and three playoff misses. Here’s our look as the draft needs of a talented but sometimes inconsistent group.
Defensive end: In recent years, the Giants have been most formidable when their defensive line is in top form. Their front four is still a real strength, even after Osi Umenyiora departed for Atlanta in free agency. However, adding a young rush end to bolster the depth now and to potentially take a bigger role later would be prudent. After all, Justin Tuck is a free agent at season’s end. He turned 30 in March, as did Mathias Kiwanuka. Jason Pierre-Paul is signed for two more seasons but is slated to hit free agency at 26 and is not going to be inexpensive to re-sign.
Cornerback: There’s a little too much uncertainty at this position. Corey Webster, 31, is in the final year of his contract. Terrell Thomas has a history of knee injuries and is unsigned beyond this season. To their credit, the Giants have added youth to this position in recent years, drafting Prince Amukamara in 2011 and Jayron Hosley last April. Also, they brought back veteran Aaron Ross to bolster their depth. Nevertheless, the Giants could still stand to fortify their corner ranks for the present and future.
Linebacker: The Giants lack standouts at linebacker and could use more playmaking ability both inside and outside. The greater overall value of cornerbacks and edge rushers puts linebacker as the third priority on this list, but make no mistake — the LB corps are a need. The club hasn’t had a Pro Bowl linebacker since Antonio Pierce in 2006.
Offensive line: Right tackle David Diehl, an 11-season veteran, is on a one-year contract. Diehl, guards Kevin Boothe and Chris Snee and center David Baas will all be 30 or older at the start of the season. Boothe is on a one-year deal, and Snee is coming off hip surgery. The Giants signed left tackle William Beatty to an extension earlier this year, securing that all-important position. However, there’s work left to do upfront.
Running back: With the Giants parting ways with Ahmad Bradshaw, the club’s RB depth behind David Wilson and Andre Brown could use improvement. Bradshaw was capable of carrying a starter’s workload for sustained stretches, and given the physicality of the position, the Giants might be wise to bring in one more rusher capable of carrying 8-10 times a game.
Improving a defense that finished 31st in yards per game and per play allowed in 2012 is a must for the Giants, who have eight draft picks — their assigned selection in each round and a compensatory seventh-rounder. On offense, the line is the biggest need, with the skill-position spots other than quarterback next on the priority list.