It’s that time of year again! On April 26th we will all be witnesses to the 2012 NFL Draft. After being Super Bowl victors, the New York Giants will have the last pick in the first round.
The last few seasons the Giants had desperately needed to draft a linebacker. This time around, I don’t believe it is a big need. There are four positions that need players this time: Tight end, running back, offensive linemen, and defensive back.
At the end of the 2011-2012 season the Giants lost two of their tight ends in Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, both to ACL tears. They’ll most likely be out for most, if not all of next season. The only healthy tight end that the Giants are able to rely on right now is Bear Pascoe. They need some help there.
If they can draft a young tight end with fresh legs then it might help that position in speed. There will be plenty of TE’s to draft this year. Coby Fleener of Stanford will most likely be the Giants’ choice if they decide to draft this position first.
The Giants released running back Brandon Jacobs. That leaves Ahmad Bradshaw as the only running back left on the roster. The Giants used DJ Ware for some rushing yards when Jacobs and Bradshaw were nursing injuries, but Ware isn’t an efficient or trained RB. It’s time to look to the draft for a new set of power. It’s going to be hard to find a RB by the time the Giants’ turn comes up in the first round. Most of the worthy first round picks will be taken by then. A RB will most likely be drafted in the later rounds.
Last season really opened up the vulnerability in the offensive line. It’s not very hard to figure out that they are weak there given the fact that Eli Manning was sacked 4-5 times per game. Luckily for the Giants, Manning is tough and hasn’t been injured because of it. However, he can’t contine to take all of those sacks every week. David Baas is injured every other week which doesn’t help either.
I don’t care what position is drafted. Whatever will provide Manning a little more protection is a step in the right direction. Some choices that could be available in the first round are Mike Adams (OT, Ohio State), and Amini Silatolu (OG, Midwestern State).
Defensive backs were an issue before the beginning of last season, and the loss of Terrell Thomas to an ACL tear was no help. Thomas is healthy and resigned with the team, but it is still important that the Giants look for a new and young corner, especially after losing Aaron Ross to the Jacksonville Jaguars this week.
This is probably the weakest position for the Giants right now. Antrel Rolle stepped it up last season and they’ll have a healthy Prince Amukamara, but they and Thomas can’t do it all. They need help.
And hey, if the Giants do decide to draft that defensive linemen they no longer need, the best available player would most likely be Dont’a Hightower from Alabama. With guys like Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Osi Umenyiora a defensive lineman is not, or at least shouldn’t be, a priority right now. A corner is much more needed in defense.
As always, who knows which player or what position the Giants decide to draft first. We could be completely surprised. We’ll just have to wait and see…