Let us take a look at the most recent mock drafts.
Although the Giants finished 2010 with a 10-6 record, they have many needs on offense, defense, and special teams. Because of the current labor impasse, teams cannot address position needs with free agents. In previous years, free agency preceded the draft. This year it will be a role reversal. So draft speculation on what player will go to what team has caused confusion too a fault. This confusion is manifested by draft experts being all over the map. With the draft eighteen days away, here are predictions from several draft experts.
Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki: RB Mark Ingram
New Era Scouting: OT Gabe Carimi
National Football Post: G/C Mike Pouncey
The Football Expert: OT Anthony Castonzo
Si.com’s Don Banks: DT Corey Liuget
Thinking outside the box, I like Nawrocki. The Giants need to upgrade the running back position. But do they need to use their first round selection on a running back? Well, in 1990, the Giants had to shore up their backfield. With the 24th selection in the first round, the Giants nabbed Rodney Hampton. Thankfully for the Giants, Hampton was a gem. Could Ingram be that guy too? Both guys played in the tough SEC conference and entered the draft after their junior seasons. If Nawrocki is the pick, this means Brandon Jacobs days as a Giant are over.
New Era Scouting, National Football Post, and The Football Expert believe the Giants will select an offensive lineman. There has been much chatter about the Giants bolstering an aging offensive line. Indeed, guys like O’Hara, Seubert, and McKenzie are at the end of their careers. But the Giants need a guy who can step in right away. According to Pete Furman, a draft expert here at UltimateNYG, Pouncey can start right away. This is the type of guy the Giants need. From reading draft articles from around the web, Pouncey may be gone by the time the Giants select at 19. So do the Giants go after a tackle with their first round pick? Unless guys being mentioned (Castonzo and Carimi) are NFL ready, I do not think the Giants should draft either of these guys. We need a first round pick who will contribute right away.
This brings us to Banks’ idea of drafting a defensive tackle. Banks believes Liuget would be a good fit for the Giants. Thus far, the high priced Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard have been huge disappointments. With Barry Cofield’s status being up in the air, the Giants need to retool this position. But do the Giants use their first round pick on another defensive lineman? Last year, the Giants drafted Jason Pierre-Paul. Unfortunately, Pierre-Paul is a project and did not make significant contributions in 2010. And the Giants did draft Linval Joseph with their second round pick. How good is Liuget? Unless he is the best available athlete on the Giants board, I would surmise the Giants do not take him.
It will be interesting to see who the Giants choose. Recall, the Giants formula has been the following: the most important positions are: 1. Quarterback 2. Pass rusher 3. Cornerback
We have our franchise quarterback. We have quality defensive linemen. Can we upgrade the cornerback position early? According to Wonder, the crop of quality cornerbacks in this year’s draft is meager.
So who do you think the Giants should draft with their first round pick?