Offseason review: New York Giants

Pre-draft needs

OLT, WR, MLB, G, DT

Draft class

Round 1: Prince Amukamara, CB

Round 2: Marvin Austin, DT

Round 3: Jerrel Jernigan, WR

Round 4: James Brewer, OT

Round 6: Greg Jones, LB

Round 6: Tyler Sash, S

Round 6: Jacquian Williams, LB

Round 7: Da’Rel Scott, RB

Potential free agents of note

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB

Steve Smith, WR

Kevin Boss, TE

Barry Cofield, DT

Mathias Kiwanuka, DE

Gerris Wilkinson, LB

Michael Johnson, S

Post-draft needs

OLT, G

Analysis

While many draft analysts thought the Giants would address the offensive line within the first two days of the draft (specifically left tackle) that didn’t happen. Instead, they selected a cornerback, defensive end and wide receiver with their first three selections.

But just because cornerback wasn’t a specific need doesn’t mean that they should have passed up a great value in Amukamara, who was projected to go anywhere from No. 7 to No. 13 overall. Anytime you can get an upgrade with one of the best players at a position, you need to make that move. The belief is he could wind up challenging fourth-year pro Terrell Thomas for the starting job this season opposite veteran Corey Webster.

Jernigan’s selection protects the team in the event that Steve Smith leaves the team during free agency. But he also has more speed than Smith and speed has been something the Giants have lacked at the position in recent years.

Jones, who is well-liked in the scouting community, could be a steal as a sixth-round pick. Jones will give the Giants rare pass-rushing ability from the inside linebacker position while bringing a physical nature to the position. While his play fell off a bit during his senior season at Michigan State, Jones should be in the mix for playing time.

The Giants addressed the left tackle position on the third day with developmental prospect James Brewer. Brewer is not expected to challenge for a starting job this season, but he could push for the job in future seasons. Brewer played right tackle in college, but has enough athleticism to move to the other side. And the Giants have been saying over the past few months that William Beatty is good enough to play on the left side, but whether the team is willing to keep him in the lineup and move David Diehl inside to guard remains to be seen.

The Giants have a potential issue to deal with if running back Ahmad Bradshaw moves on once free agency starts. Under the 2010 rules, Bradshaw and Smith would be restricted free agents. But if it’s determined that the 2009 rules would be in effect, both players would be unrestricted free agents. The Giants would lose two significant parts of their offense should both players leave. And replacing Bradshaw would be particularly problematic since he’s arguably the team’s best running back.

And finally, the addition of defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who is considered to be a solid value where the Giants picked him, should soften the blow should the team lose veteran Barry Cofield during free agency.