Five positions and players the Giants could look to draft
Because the Giants have starters Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara already in place, the CB position seems like less of a need on the surface. In reality, though, CB is one of the more brittle positions in the NFL. The Giants have specifically dealt with a brutal rash of injuries at the position over the last several years. Although the Giants did well to re-sign Chykie Brown, he projects best as an outside cornerback. After allowing Thurmond to walk in free agency, the Giants could look to target a prospect who brings what he was supposed to — a dominant slot presence. TCU's Kevin White could be that guy, and the Giants can grab him in the middle rounds due to his size limitations. Don't be fooled by his measurements because White can ball. Dane Brugler breaks down his impressive athleticism, movement and ball skills here.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY SportsKevin Jairaj
With Jon Beason, Jameel McClain and Mark Herzlich on the roster, it would seem like the Giants have inside linebacker covered for now. However, the draft is not always about finding a day-one starter or adding depth. Sometimes you have to think about adding a future starter, and the future could come sooner than expected. Beason has missed 24-of-64 games over the last four seasons, and McClain and Herzlich have proved to be major liabilities in pass coverage. The Giants can take advantage of one of the best inside linebacker draft classes in recent years. It might be unlikely that Eric Kendricks last until the Giants' pick in round two, but Denzel Perryman, Bernardrick McKinney, and Paul Dawson could all be there. All three have the ability to emerge as premier inside linebackers at the next level.
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The Giants brought back blocking specialist Daniel Fells and move tight end Larry Donnell for the 2015 season, but neither player is a complete two-way tight end. The Giants haven't found an every-down tight end since they allowed Martellus Bennett to walk in free agency. A prospect with the ability to catch passes and serve as a plus blocker is a rarity in this draft and most drafts, but I believe Ohio State's Jeff Heuerman can be that guy. After racking up just 52 catches for 792 yards and seven TDs in his college career, his prospects as a pass catcher require more of a projection. At 6-foot-5 and 254 pounds he recorded strong numbers for his size at his pro day with a 4.80 40-time, 34.5 vertical and 10-foot broad jump. Lance Zierlein breaks down why scouts are intrigued by his upside.
The Giants have remained open to the idea of keeping Justin Pugh at right tackle, but GM Jerry Reese was quoted saying: "if we can get a big dynamic right tackle via free agency or the draft, Pugh is a guy that fortunately can move in to guard." Fortunately for the Giants, this is a very talented offensive tackle class. On day one, prospects like Brandon Scherff and Andrus Peat could be added to step in as immediate starters. However, expect the Giants to target a tackle in round two where a first-round talent is likely to fall to them based on the depth at the position. A prospect like T.J. Clemmings would fit perfectly as the right tackle in Ben McAdoo's zone-based blocking scheme. Jake Fisher and D.J. Humphries also fit in well and could also slip out of the first round.
The Giants offered a very similar contract to free agency's top safety Devin McCourty, but he chose to re-sign with the Patriots. It turned out that the Giants didn't have a plan B at safety. There were reports that they had interest in other free agent safeties, but those players have since signed with other teams. From 2014's starters, Antrel Rolle signed with the Bears and Quintin Demps is best left as a reserve. The 2015 draft class is exceptionally weak at safety behind Landon Collins, and most believe that Collins is not a blue-chip prospect. The Giants have shown interest in day three prospect Cedric Thornton and they will work him out. Look for the team to target day-three safeties and hope that an in-house competition among a rookie, Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor results in two capable starters.