Monday, April 25, 2011

New York Giants Draft Preview

Like many picks in the draft this year, the Giants pick is not totally decided or obvious,
but there are definitely some players who stand out.

Last year, despite not making the playoffs, the New York Giants had a very good season. Overall they finished 10-6, which in most years is good enough to qualify for the playoffs. The Giants also were ahead the majority of the season, but after a few bad losses down the stretch, and a very bad punt, the Giants found themselves out of the playoffs.

In this draft preview, you can find where the Giants need players, who the Giants should take in the first round, and who are some late sleepers.

Right away when you look at the Giants team, you think they are fine. They have a somewhat young quarterback in Eli Manning, a balanced running game, and a young group of wide receivers led by Hakeem Nicks. On defense you have a solid front four led by Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, and also have a good secondary with Corey Webster and Antrel Rolle.

So what positions were not named?

That would be the offensive line, the tight end, the linebacker core, and the special teams.

The Giants have a very experienced offensive line, and a good line too, having racked up numerous pro bowls. The problem with the offensive line though is that they are old! The youngest player on the line is Chris Snee who is still 29. The rest of the line is over thirty and although they are still good, they are aging.

As for the tight end, the Giants found a late round steal in Kevin Boss a few years ago. Boss has showed some signs of improvement, bit in a draft with some great tight ends including  Kyle Rudolph, the Giants can look into upgrading that position.

The Giants have a very bad offensive line, and i would think they draft multiple linebackers in this draft. The current linebackers in the 4-3 defense are Jonathan Goff, Keith Bullock, and Michael Boley. As many Giants fans painfully watched, wide receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks like Michael Vick on a Monday Night Game, burned the Giants linebackers all season. Bullock is aging and with Mathias Kiwanuka as a free agent, the Giants should look to resigning Mathias and even drafting a linebacker.

Now by far the worst part of the giants lineup: the special teams.

Oh where to start.

The punter, or should i say, the season ender, Matt Dodge, has to go. One name i keep hearing pop up, is former Florida Punter, and Ray Guy winner Chas Henry. I would love for the Giants to snag Henry in the late rounds.

The kicker, Lawrence Tynes, has been on the Giants for a few years now, and I don't know why we keep bringing him back. I do not know how many times i have heard how bad and unclutch Tynes is. The Kicking class is also a good one, but I don't think the Giants should draft a kicker and punter. Just one would be fine, but the Giants definitely need to make changes.

One thing I have always said about the Giants is how they have never had a spark plug or speed demon to return kicks or punts. This year we had Darius Reynaud and DJ Ware returning kicks and punts. It wouldn't matter if the Giants even sent Matt Dodge out there to return, because either way the return game was terrible. A big reason why the Giants didn't make the playoffs was because of field position. The Giants never had big returns to propel them on important drives. The Giants definitely should bring in  a guy who can both return kicks and punts, but also play offense or defense.

Right now the Giants have the 19th pick in the draft.

If Florida offensive linemen Mike Pouncey is still available at this pick, it should be a no brainer. His brother had an immediate impact on the Steelers, and helped lead them to the Super Bowl. Wouldn't be too shabby if brother Mike can do that for the Giants.

Realistically though, other linemen the Giants should consider getting are Anthony Costanzo out of Boston Collge or Gabe Carimi, who to me looks like Joe Thomas Jr. It could just be the fact that both went to Wisconsin, but Carimi definitely has the skill and work load to have a successful NFL career.

On the defensive side, the Giants should definitely look into Mark Herzlich out of Boston College. Herzlich hasn't had that big of an impact the last few years, but that is because he had cancer, and fortunately survived. Herzlich is a great player, leader, and effort to definitely be a good NFL player.

If Akeem Ayers or Derek Sherrod, or Nate Soldier, slip into the second round, the Giants should definitely consider drafting them. All three had great senior years, at UCLA, Mississippi State, and Colorado respectively.

As for the later rounds, the Giants should look to draft a tight end, more help to the offensive line and linebackers, and to work on the special teams.

Looking into next season (yes the lockout was lifted today), the Giants will definitely be in good shape to possibly win the division. Like most years, it will be a coin flip between them Dallas and Philadelphia for the title.

Any draft or other sports questions, feel free to email me!

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