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Draft needs: New York Giants

Tom Coughlin AP

With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. The Giants, who pick 12th overall, are up next. It’s already been an offseason of major change for the Giants, who changed offensive coordinators and signed a slew of free agents after missing the playoffs for the second straight year. The work isn’t done, however, and we’ll highlight the areas in need of improvement below.

Tight End: The Giants replaced Martellus Bennett with Brandon Myers in free agency last season and the move was one of many things that contributed to their offensive nosedive. Myers is gone, leaving the Giants with a big hole at the position. Eric Ebron may not make it to No. 12, so they may not get a sure thing but they’ll need to address this spot before the draft is out.

Center: The Giants attacked their needs at guard head on during free agency and added Charles Brown as a backup tackle, leaving center as the spot most in need of improvement in the draft. J.D. Walton signed as a free agent, but he hasn’t played in two years and there aren’t any other appealing in-house options. Colorado State’s Weston Richburg and USC’s Marcus Martin are the best prospects at the position and both should be available on the second day.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Giants look elsewhere on the offensive line, either. Will Beatty has yet to establish himself as a top left tackle and the Giants may find the best player available in the first round is one who could compete with or supplant Beatty. After the pounding Eli Manning took last season, that wouldn’t be the worst thing for the team.

Wide Receiver: Hakeem Nicks didn’t give the Giants much outside of reasons to complain the last two seasons and the lack of the threat he once provided the team was glaring enough that Victor Cruz said last week that he hoped the team brought in an outside threat. The Giants hope that Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan can step into larger roles and/or Mario Manningham rediscovers health in his return to the team, but hedging their bets with a receiver from the draft would be a prudent move.

Defensive Line: The Giants won two Super Bowls thanks in large part to a relentless pass rush provided by a talented group of defensive linemen. Osi Umenyiora left after the 2012 season and Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck are gone now as well, leaving Jason Pierre-Paul and a lot of question marks. Pierre-Paul has spent two seasons underperforming while struggling with injuries, so he isn’t even a sure thing. There are high hopes for defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins and defensive end Damontre Moore, but a strong prospect (like Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald perhaps) at either position shouldn’t be ignored.

Linebacker: It feels like linebacker winds up on the list of Giants needs every year, but the team has rarely shows interest in using high picks to address the position. There’s no reason to think that will change this year, although the team could still use a talent boost at the position that they’ll try to find in the later rounds.

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13 Responses to “Draft needs: New York Giants”
  1. bassplucker says: Apr 26, 2014 3:16 PM

    I will be shocked if Ebron goes in the first 11 and even more shocked if the Giants pass on him. The G-men have always counted on impact from the TE position and when Myers busted last year it hurt them a lot.

  2. delakern says: Apr 26, 2014 3:49 PM

    8-8 last year with no oline no running game and a lot of turnovers the can easily be an 11-5 division winner this year

  3. ice550 says: Apr 26, 2014 4:08 PM

    I think over the last two years, JPP was the only thing consistent on the defense. The secondary sucked, the linebackers were so so, and JPP was the only one getting to the QB.

  4. pologroundsvet says: Apr 26, 2014 4:22 PM

    Rounds 1, 2 and 3. Best available athlete at, in no particular order, LT, TE, WR, DT, C.

  5. judalation says: Apr 26, 2014 6:38 PM

    Giants are coming back this year! we may have lacked talent but this year Reese will bring it around! GO G-MEN GO!

  6. brooklynnsfinest says: Apr 26, 2014 6:48 PM

    The Giants have made a lot of uncharacteristic moves this off-season. Don’t be surprised if that trend continues and we uncharacteristically trade out of the 12th spot to gain more picks. We need both quality and quantity in the early rounds. Can’t say I’d be mad if we gave up the 12th pick to drop 4-5 spots in the 1st round to gain 4 overall picks inside the first 3 rounds. If Manziel is still not taken by our pick, things could get very intersting.

  7. arwiv says: Apr 26, 2014 8:35 PM

    The Giants o-line has been fixed a lot. Most people will cast aside the signing of JD Walton and the return of a healthy Snee as no big deal…to you I will say simply, get a clue. The line is already much better than it was last year, despite what the naysayers think. We need Ebron, Watkins, or Donald with that #12 pick. Robinson and Mathews are both worthy picks, but both will be gone so no sense in worrying about either one. I will be thrilled with any of the 3 guys I mentioned.

  8. Pittsburgh Steelers says: Apr 26, 2014 9:54 PM

    You forgot QB.

  9. brootaltroof says: Apr 26, 2014 10:10 PM

    I still say draft a tackle like Lewan. You can move Pugh to guard and switch Beatty over to RT. They can target a TE like Niklas from Notre Dame in the second round.

  10. kappy32 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:50 PM

    Listen, there is no question that the Giants could use a lineman or two, but where they are picking – 12th overall – is way, way too early to take an interior lineman (G/C), and the good exterior lineman (LT/RT) will be gone by then. As far as I’m concerned, Jerry Reese did a good job this offseason adding pieces to the line, making it less of a dire need than it was following week 17 this past season. The Giants spent their first round pick last year on a tackle – Justin Pugh – and he played great this year as Eli’s front-side protector. There is no reason to move a young kid who excelled at one position to another just because. On the other side, Left Tackle, the Giants have Will Beatty. Beatty broke his leg the last game of the season, but reports on his rehab state that he will be fine come training camp. Beatty may not be the best LT in the game, but the Giants are paying him starters money & it doesn’t make much sense having that cap number sitting on the bench in favor of a rookie. The ONLY offensive tackle that could be on the board come the 12th pick is Taylor Lewan from Michigan. Lewan is a solid player, I like him, but he has some off-the-field issues that involve alcohol. There is a high likelihood that Lewan is going to be in the NFL Substance Abuse Program before he even takes a snap at the pro level. Having a coach like Coughlin & a steady front office led by Jerry Reese is a good place for a troubled player to go, but he is too much of a risk to take with the 12th pick. Despite the stability & professionalism with the Giants, they are not above the problems that drug addiction & alcoholism bring. Just take a look at Will Hill, their safety. Despite all their efforts, Hill has found himself in hot water yet again, failing a drug test this offseason. He is looking at a full-year suspension, at the minimum. You just can’t risk your first round pick on someone with substance issues. Speaking from experience, addiction is much more powerful than anything else, even the prospect of making millions of dollars. Nevertheless, the OL need for the Giants is at guard & center. They can find very good players at those positions later in the draft, starting in the 2nd round. I would go even later, the 3rd round. You can find a guard or center in the 3rd round that could come in & start from day 1.

    As far as I am concerned, the Giants need to maximize the output from the plaster they pick with the 12th overall pick. A lot of fans want Eric Ebron (TE – UNC), but I’m not sold on him. Just like an interior lineman, I feel that it is too early to take a TE with a top 20 pick, especially one as early as 12th overall. I don’t believe Ebron is head & shoulders better than the other TEs in the draft. His combine numbers were pretty good, but in the main 3 categories Ebron finished 2nd, 2nd, 3rd of all TEs in the draft (40-yard dash, vertical leap, bench press). With a new Offensive Coordinator (OC) – Ben MacAdoo – coming from the Packers, we are going to see a lot of 4 & 5 wide sets. A LOT more than we saw with Kevin Kill-drive, I mean Gillbride. Going into this season, the Giants have their 2 slot positions covered in Jernigan & Cruz, but only 1 outside WR in place with Ruben Randle. The jury is still out on Randle, a 2012 2nd round pick from LSU, and it is imperative they land one more guy that can play outside. Among the draft “experts” the consensus opinion is that Sammy Watkins is #1 & Mike Evans is #2. After that, each expert has a different position for Beckham, Jr. (LSU), Marquise Lee (USC), and Kelvin Benjamin (FSU). Both Beckham & Lee are talented players, but they are inside (slot) WRs, whereas Benjamin is a clear outside WR with the talent to be absolutely great. Benjamin stands 6’6 & weighs about 250 lbs. He runs a 40 that is on par with the shifty slot guys in this draft. There should be no debate here; if Benjamin is available at 12 the Giants should gobble him up & don’t think twice about it. The one area Benjamin needs work on is his route running, but his size & speed makes up for that. At worst, I see Benjamin being Alshon Jeffrey 2.0; at best, Benjamin could very well be Randy Moss 2.0. I don’t see where you can go wrong with this kid. Not only does he fill a need, but he has the ability to be a franchise-changing WR. He is the type of player that will completely change the Giants offense to the point that they could be very scary. As for TE, Troy Niklas (Notre Dame) will be there when they pick in round 2. Niklas is better than both Kyle Rudolph & Tyler Eifert – ND TEs to come before him. The only reason he is not a consensus round 1 pick is because he had Tommy Reese throwing the ball to him last year. Had it been Golson at QB, Niklas would’ve put up monster numbers & be an easy 1st round choice this year.

    1. Kelvin Benjamin
    2. Troy Niklas
    3. C/G (Martin – USC)

  11. jerseyjoehaven says: Apr 27, 2014 5:01 AM

    Ok the Giants need to trade down to about the 25th or 26th pick in the first round. Now using the draft trade guide. This trade would give the Giants extra picks in the 2nd round, 3rd round, and if taken this year a 6th round pick. If taken next year that 6th round pick would become a 5th rounder. My top pick then at #25 / #26 would be RaShede Hageman DT 6’6″ / 315 lbs. After that trade the Giant should consider trading Ryan Nassib QB, the Giants could get a good return for him. At least two picks. 3rd round pick and a 6th round pick ( or a 5th round pick next year). This would give the Giants one pick in the first, 2 picks in the second, 3 picks in the third, one pick in the fourth, 2 picks in the fifth ( second pick is comp pick at end of round. ), 3 picks in the sixth or moved to next year as 2 in the 5th round for better value. Two trades can help fill out the rest of the Giants needs.

  12. jerseyjoehaven says: Apr 27, 2014 6:20 AM

    With the two trades that I have stated. If I were doing the drafting it could go like this. 1st round DT / DE RaShede Hageman 6’6″ / 315 lbs. 2nd round TE Troy Niklas 6’6″ / 270lbs or TE Jace Amaro 6’5″ / 260lbs. Second pick OT Morgan Moses 6’6″ / 315lbs or OT Antonio Richardson 6’6″ / 335lbs. 3rd round OC Bryan Stork 6’4″ / 315lbs. or OC Travis Swanson 6’5 / 310lbs. or OC /OG Marcus Martin 6’3″ / 310lbs. Second pick RB Carlos Hyde 6’0″ / 245lbs. or RB Terrance West 5’10″ / 225lbs. or RB Tre Mason 5’9″ / 200lbs. Third pick OLB Kyle Van Noy 6’3″ / 235lbs. or OLB Marcus Smith 6’4″ / 260lbs. or OLB Jeremiah Attaochu. 6’3″ / 255lbs. 4th round WR Delvin Street. 6’3″ / 200lbs. or WR Donte Moncrief 6’2″ / 226lbs. or WR Cody Latimer 6’2″ / 215lbs. 5th round WR Brandon Coleman 6’5″ / 220lbs. or WR players still around from 4th round choices. Second (comp pick) in 5th round, DT Daniel McCullers 6’7″ / 350lbs. or TE Marcel Jensen 6’6″ / 260lbs. or OLB Trevor Reilly 6’4″ / 255lbs. 6th round DT /DE Deandre Coleman 6’5″ / 315lbs. or OG Ryan Groy 6’5″ / 325lbs. Thats my draft. As I went with the draft I added more than one pick as to cover chances players were already taken.

  13. nykfanwakemeupin2015 says: Apr 27, 2014 3:15 PM

    It boggles my mind that Giants fans want Ebron. A soft TE that cannot block. Remember how Jimmy Graham got man handled by Seattle twice? The Giants have success with tough gritty tight ends with good hands. We dont need an athletic freak. We can pick up a solid TE in the second round.

    I am still not sold on the offensive line. I am not sure if we should address in the first round or the later on. The oline is still not a 100% there are a lot of what ifs. Pugh and Geof in my eyes are the only players you can rely on.

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