Exploring Every Team Need the New York Giants Must Address in the 2012 NFL Draft
The New York Giants have not been very active in free agency, other than signing a tight end and re-signing several of their own free agents.
However, they still have needs to address and will most likely do so in the 2012 NFL draft. Giants general manager Jerry Reese typically drafts based upon need in the early rounds, despite what most draft "experts" say.
Let's look at the team's possible needs that could be addressed in the draft.
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With the Giants informing Kareem McKenzie that he should find work elsewhere, they will look to replace him with a current player or someone in the draft.
I'm inclined to think the latter, but I also wouldn't be surprised if the Giants went with 2011 fourth-round pick James Brewer at right tackle.
There are several candidates in the draft that peak my interest, but ultimately, GM Jerry Reese will make the call, and he could trust Brewer or even David Diehl more than a rookie.
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With the release of Brandon Jacobs, the running back position becomes a need that should be addressed in the draft.
There are plenty of good candidates, such as Doug Martin or David Wilson, that could come in and be a solid backup for Ahmad Bradshaw.
This running back could also be the starter for the future, so the Giants should look to replace Jacobs early in the draft.
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With Jonathan Goff making free-agent visits to other teams last week, the Giants could be in the market for a linebacker come draft day.
GM Jerry Reese has never drafted a linebacker in the first round, so maybe this is the year he finally addresses the position with a playmaking linebacker.
Dont'a Hightower comes to mind, but it is not likely he will still be available when the Giants make their pick.
The Giants will try to re-sign Goff, and maybe even Chase Blackburn, but it's conceivable they could lose both to free agency.
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Dave Tollefson, Rocky Bernard and Jimmy Kennedy are all free agents that the Giants have yet to re-sign, and Osi Umenyiora could still be moved via trade in order to clear up some cap space.
The Giants love their defensive linemen, and even if Osi and Tollefson are brought back, they could be looking to add pass-rushers in the draft. That seems to be a universal theme of GM Jerry Reese's drafts.
The Giants could also be trying to find a defensive tackle to replace Bernard in the rotation.
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Deon Grant is entering his 13th season and is an unrestricted free agent, so the Giants will have to find a replacement for him if he is not brought back or retires.
Tyler Sash impressed as a rookie in training camp, and Chad Jones could play this season, but the Giants like to use multiple safeties so much that they could look for one of the top safeties in the draft.
Grant cannot be replaced as a leader and locker room presence, but the Giants could certainly try.