2012 NFL Draft: 5 Prospects Eli Manning Would Love to Have as Teammates
The 2012 offseason for the New York Giants has shown that they need help on offense. Two guys who helped them win the franchise's fourth Super Bowl Championship—Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs—are now playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
Also, it was recently revealed that Ahmad Bradshaw underwent a procedure on his injured foot in hopes of being ready to play come Week 1. And with Jacobs gone, the G-Men have an urgency to address the running back position.
New York also needs to ink a player who can block for those running backs, as the Giants' offensive line was disappointing last season, especially in the running game.
However, the Giants are sure of one thing: Eli Manning will be under center come Week 1.
Here are five prospects Manning would love to play alongside in 2012.
Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
The Giants acquired Martellus Bennett this offseason and recently got word that Travis Beckum could potentially play in Week 1 against the rival Dallas Cowboys, but they could still utilize Coby Fleener in 2012.
Beckum isn't anything more than a backup and Bennett is unproven offensively, due in large part to Jason Witten.
The 6'6", 250-lb. tight end out of Stanford would be another impressive weapon for Eli Manning this season, as he caught 34 balls for 667 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
The Giants would need to spend their first-round pick on the 23-year-old, but from what we saw last season, he appears to be worth a first-round draft pick.
David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Despite starting only one season for Virginia Tech, David Wilson decided to declare for the 2012 NFL draft.
And why not?
His 2011 ACC Player of the Year season saw him rush for more than 1,700 yards and nine touchdowns, including 10 games where he rushed for more than 100 yards.
Further, he averaged 5.9 yards per carry and ran a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash at the combine.
He was consistent all season long for the Hokies and would provide the Giants with some much-needed depth at the running back position.
Jonathan Martin, OL, Stanford
Protecting Andrew Luck's blind side for the past few season, Jonathan Martin would be a great addition to the Giants' offensive line.
However, it's his run-blocking that makes him a highly touted lineman in the draft, as WalterFootball.com lists two of his many strengths as "road-grading run blocker and excellent run blocking technique."
It's no secret Big Blue could use some help in the run-blocking game, as they ranked dead last in rushing yards per game last season.
Martin is a smart football player who's surprisingly fast for his 6'6", 304-lb. frame and could immediately anchor the Giants' running game in 2012-2013.
Chris Polk, RB, Washington
Chris Polk could help fill the void at running back for the Giants, especially in the role of a bruising runner, much like the old Brandon Jacobs. Polk has the potential to be a more successful Jacobs given his size—5'11", 222 lbs.—and his season statistics from 2011.
His senior campaign saw him rush for more than 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns—something the Giants desperately need.
He's also a solid receiver out of the backfield, catching 31 passes for four TDs last season.
The power running of Polk combined with the lightning speed of Bradshaw would be deadly for opposing defenses.
Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
At 6'8", 320 lbs., Mike Adams has the necessary quickness and athleticism to be a top offensive lineman in the NFL. Similar to Jonathan Martin, Adams excels in the run-blocking game, using quick feet and good hands to open up holes.
Adding Adams would not only help protect Manning, but would also relieve the pressure of having to pass the ball too much because of a down running game.
He had some issues during his college career—he was part of the "tattoo five"—but will hopefully mature as he ages into an NFL player.
Either way, I don't think Manning would complain about having Adams on his offensive line.
Follow Pete Schauer on Twitter @Pete_Schauer