The Giants' Top Draft Priorities
With the 2013 NFL draft only one day away, the speculation and projections are beginning to wind down and the months of mock drafts and trying to predict who will land where are finally coming to an end. Beginning on Thursday night, we'll have some answers about where some of the high-profile names from this draft class are going to end up, and which teams are going to be involved in the usual flurry of draft day trades.
For the New York Giants, they'll be targeting a few key positions with their draft picks this year and, given GM Jerry Reese's track record when it comes to the draft, it's safe to say that you'll see several players from these positions taken over the course of the weekend.
This is no surprise; the Giants need help at the linebacker position. This has been highlighted all offseason by just about every Giants writer, blogger and beat reporter — and for good reason. The team finished 25th in the league against the run last year, and most of that failure can be attributed to weak support at the linebacker position.
While it's not clear who exactly the Giants are targeting at this position, there have been several names floated around in mock drafts: namely, Manti Te'o from Notre Dame and Alec Ogletree from Georgia. While those are just two of the names that will likely be available late in the first round when the Giants are on the clock, it remains to be seen whether the team will look to draft a linebacker early on in the draft or choose to wait until the later rounds.
Either way, this position is a big one for the Giants in this draft, so they'll most likely be adding a linebacker or two before the weekend is over.
If there's one thing that's certain about Jerry Reese's drafting habits, it's that he loves drafting defensive backs. In fact, in his time as GM of the Giants, he's drafted more defensive backs in the first round of the draft than any other position.
In the first round, the team has drafted Aaron Ross, Kenny Phillips and Prince Amukamara since Reese became GM, and they've added more in the later rounds as well. Just last season they drafted CB Jayron Hosley from Virginia Tech in the third round.
However, the Giants could still use some help in the secondary. Corey Webster gave up an unbelievable number of big plays through the air last season, and even they brought back Ross to lend a hand at cornerback, no one is convinced that he's the answer the Giants were looking for all last year.
If the Giants do go for a cornerback or safety in this year's draft, it will most likely be in the mid to late rounds. One name that's been floated around in the past week: LSU's Tyrann Mathieu.
While this position isn't necessarily as big a position of need for the Giants as linebacker is, this is a particularly deep draft for offensive linemen, and there is a lot of talent available on the line if the Giants should choose to look in that direction in the later rounds.
A few of the most recent mock drafts have offensive linemen going in three of the top five first-round picks, so it's safe to say that either there's a surplus of available offensive line talent in this year's draft or there are a surplus of bottom-feeding teams that are in desperate need of offensive line help — or all of the above.
One name that's been thrown around in the last few weeks has been Alabama OT D.J. Fluker, although there are plenty more out there.