NFL Draft 2012: New York Giants First-Round Candidate Orson Charles

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NFL Draft 2012: New York Giants First-Round Candidate Orson Charles
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With each passing week, we are getting closer to the NFL draft in late April.

We've all done our mock drafts and projections on who each team might take.

For the defending champion New York Giants, their draft needs start with the offensive line and tight end.

In the last two stories I've done, we looked at Dwayne Allen, a tight end from Clemson and Vontaze Burfict, a linebacker from Arizona State.

Now, we'll look at another tight end prospect for the Giants, Orson Charles.

He's a tight end out of the University of Georgia who just finished his junior year with the Bulldogs.

In 2011, he caught 45 passes for 574 yards and five touchdowns. His best game was the opener back on September 3 against Boise State, catching six balls for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Matt Miller from Bleacher Report projected Charles to get drafted by the Giants in his mock draft back on February 20.

At 6'3" and 241 pounds, Charles is very fast for a tight end and can stretch the field.

In the current NFL with tight ends like Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates, teams are starting to look for guys who can catch just like a wide receiver and be playmakers for them down the field.

At first, I thought Travis Beckum might be that type of player for the Giants, but he has yet to live up to that potential, plus he tore his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI, which is one of the biggest reasons why the Giants are projected to draft a tight end in April.

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Jake Ballard also could have been that type of player as well, but he too, tore his his ACL in the Super Bowl, and that only further enhanced the need for a tight end for Big Blue.

According to scouting reports, he does need to improve his blocking skills, but his ability to create mismatches down field against secondaries and linebackers could potentially make him a late first-round pick.

Blocking skills can be developed, but natural talent can't be, which is something that might be hard to pass up on.

One mock draft had him getting dropped all the way down to the second round to the Giants, but if he is in fact one of the best available tight ends in the draft, the Giants may not wait until Friday to pick Charles.

It's not uncommon for players from Georgia to get taken in the first round.

A.J. Green was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011.

Matthew Stafford was taken by the Detroit Lions in 2009, as was Knowshon Moreno by the Denver Broncos in 2009.

Green and Stafford were keys to their teams making the playoffs, while Moreno has promise, but has been hampered by injuries.

Charles could be the next big star to come from Georgia in a league that is placing more value on the tight ends.

The Giants normally draft blocking tight ends, but Charles is regarded as an athletic tight end that teams shouldn't pass up on if they have the need.

But the question becomes: Do the Giants think high enough of Charles to draft him with the 32nd overall pick?

With Ballard and Beckum both likely to start on the PUP List, there's a good chance they might.

Stay tuned, Giants fans.

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