New York Giants 2013 NFL Draft Needs
The defending Super Bowl champs (damn…I can only say that for another week!) had a roller coaster year in 2013. They had some fantastic showings; destroying the 49ers and Packers yet finding ways to lose to the Eagles, Redskins and Cowboys. Frustrating and inconsistent are the key words to describe the 2013 New York football Giants.
So now the Giants look ahead to the draft. Here are the positions the Giants will be looking to target on both sides of the ball:
OFFENSE: OL, TE, RB
In recent drafts, the Giants have focused a ton of attention on WR; taking Hakeem Nicks, Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan. Couple those guys with QB Eli Manning, WR Victor Cruz and WR Domenik Hixon and the passing game is lethal.
Where the Giants had main concerns was on the offensive line. The left side is in their prime with Beatty and Boothe. However, the right side of Snee and Diehl are in their 9th and 10th year, respectively. The Giants need to get younger and stronger on the offensive line and now is the time to get those replacements. The Giants need to get back to being more aggressive running the football as opposed to relying so heavily on the pass. Guys the Giants might target here are OT Eric Fisher from Central Michigan or OT Lane Johnson from Oklahoma.
Another offensive position need for the Giants is at TE. In recent years the Giants have found some gems in the rough to flourish at this position. This past year, the addition of Martellus Bennett worked out quite nicely as he had a pretty solid year. However, I think now is the time to draft his future replacement. I see Bennett being here for another two to three years. It makes sense to address the issue now so you can groom him as a comfortable fit for Eli Manning. Possible, yet highly unlikely, if the Giants wanted to draft a TE early, they would target guys like Zach Ertz from Stanford or Tyler Eiffert from Notre Dame.
The last offensive need for the Giants is at running back. Yes…I know they drafted David Wilson last year. However, Ahmad Bradshaw hasn’t been exactly durable the past few years. He’s had some foot concerns, which have screws now, and I think the Giants realize they need to get some added depth at the position.
Also, the Giants were successful when they had a tandem of Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. Both brought different paces into the game as Bradshaw had speed to the outside and Jacobs would bulldoze through the middle, especially on the goalline. Since they have Bradshaw and Wilson, I’d expect the Giants to find another bulldozer like Jacobs. A guy like Alabama’s Eddie Lacy is that type of guy. If he were somehow there at pick 19 I think the Giants would have to consider him.
DEFENSE: DB, LB
The biggest position need for the Giants on defense is in the secondary. They drafted Prince Amukamara and Tyler Sash recently but they still need more help. Last season. the secondary was riddled with injuries. Amukamara, Webster and Phillips all had injuries at one point. The Giants need depth here.
If you recall, the Giants got torched in Atlanta by their wideouts. Webster and Amukamara had 3rd degree burns by halftime. The Giants need to try and find a true shutdown-corner; like Seattle’s Brandon Browner. A tough, physical guy to cover the other teams #1 WR. Right now, the Giants don’t have that. Two guys that the Giants are probably keeping tabs on are Xavier Rhodes from Florida State and Johnthan Banks from Mississippi State.
The linebacker position has been very solid for the Giants in recent years. Chase Blackburn has anchored the linebackers with help from Michael Boley and Mathias Kiwanuka. However, the Giants have to be concerned with their age and depth at this position. They need to get younger and quicker starting soon. I would be shocked if the Giants didn’t come out of this draft with at least one linebacker; and taken in the first three rounds.
First guy that comes to mind is Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o. Te’o will be interesting to watch on draft day in terms of if or how far he might fall due to his recent hoax coverage in the media. Will teams shy away because of this? Some think his stock has dropped because if it but if he were available at #19 I think it’s a no-brainer for the Giants in the first round. He has that bulldog maentality and build that the Giants are known for.
The Giants won their most recent two Super Bowls because of their defense. This past season the injuries and the holes were too much to overcome. For the Giants, this draft should be all about building that defense back up. The offense is fine and will be fine. Any questions offensively can be addressed by free agency now and draft later. The defense, especially the secondary, needs to get younger, stronger and deeper. This is where I expect the Giants to be solely focused in the 2013 NFL Draft.