After weeks of checking out mock drafts throughout the web, I decided to take a shot at making my own.
As most New York Giants fans know, GM Jerry Reese is notorious for taking the best player available regardless of team needs.
After both Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard went down in the Super Bowl with torn ACLs, the Giants immediately had a void at the tight end position. Even after the acquisition of Martellus Bennett from the Dallas Cowboys, the Giants should still look for another TE to add depth to their chart.
The departure of Brandon Jacobs leaves an unoccupied running back spot behind the injury prone Ahmad Bradshaw. Despite still having Da'rel Scott, D.J. Ware, and Andre Brown, who could all potentially compete for the role, I still expect the Giants to take a look at a running back.
Mario Manningham, the Giants third receiver, also said goodbye to New York in favor of the West Coast, joining the San Fransisco 49ers. The Giants most likely expect Jerrel Jernigan, Ramses Barden and the recovering Domenik Hixon to battle it out for the third spot.
I also may not be alone when I say I would love to see what 2011 practice squad player Dan Depalma can do after earning recognition by successfully emulating Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker during the Giants preparation for the Super Bowl.
Regardless of the current situation, the Giants love positional battles and I expect them to throw another WR into the mix.
Next up is the offensive line. In 2011, the Giants finished the regular season 32nd in rushing yards. Despite the nagging injury to Bradshaw and the success in the playoffs, the G-Men should still be concerned about their running game, which was lackluster largely due to the offensive line.
Although I don't expect the Giants to address this area early in the draft, I think they need to have a few offensive linemen on their draft board.
The last position where the Giants could use some help is at linebacker. Although they appear to be extremely deep at the position after acquiring Keith Rivers and re-signing Chase Blackburn, the Giants could still use a player who is dominant on the inside.
The Giants currently played Greg Jones, Mark Herzlich, and Blackburn on the inside in 2011, and rumors have been stirring that Michael Boley may be expected to take the call in 2012 if Keith Rivers steps it up on the weak side.
Either way, I don't see the Giants passing on a dominant ILB if one falls their way.
Jerry Reese's "best player available" strategy undoubtedly makes it difficult to predict the Giants' picks, but it's always fun for fans to give it a go.
Here's my take on how the 2012 draft will turn out for the G-Men.
Though the Giants usually don't draft for need in the first round, choosing Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower could kill two birds with one stone.
If Hightower falls to the Giants at 32, it is very likely that he will be the best player available on the team's draft board.
The G-Men have already showed interest in Hightower, as reported by Sports Illustrated's Peter King.
Alabama's Donta Hightower visited the Giants today. On his way to see the Bears tomorrow. He's a hot commodity right now.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 18, 2012
Hightower would immediately bring more power to the Giants linebacker group and would compete for a starting job at ILB.
Playing under Nick Saban makes Hightower a hot prospect, not only because Alabama utilizes a lot of pro sets, but also because Saban is known for his disciplinary skills while getting his players ready for the NFL.
Tom Coughlin takes a similar approach to coaching, which is why Dont'a Hightower could fit right in with the Giants in more places than just on the field.
Time and time again, we hear Jerry Reese preach the long-standing Giants mantra which is embedded in the belief that a team can never have enough pass rushers.
Although the Giants already have Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, and Mathias Kiwanuka available to play defensive end, I don't see Jerry Reese passing on Marshall's Vinny Curry if he falls to the end of the second round.
Despite the fact that Osi Umenyiora's contract situation is still up in the air, I don't think him staying would discourage the Giants from taking Marshall's talented DE.
However, as the draft nears, Osi's departure seems to be becoming more and more imminent.
Vinny Curry would be able to jump right into the rotation and help fill the void left by veteran Dave Tollefson and perhaps Osi Umenyiora as well.
Curry is 6'4'', 263 pounds and has the explosiveness to be a talented pass-rusher in the NFL.
Many consider him first-round talent, but few to none have him going that early in their mock drafts.
If a pass-rusher of Curry's ability falls in the Giants' lap at pick 63, I don't think Reese would be able to resist.
The standout wide receiver from Rutgers University is projected to be either a second or third round pick in the upcoming draft.
The Giants have already expressed interest in Sanu and have reportedly even hosted a private workout for him at the teams facility.
The local receiver stands at 6'2'', weighs in at 211 pounds, and ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash during Rutgers' Pro Day.
He is excellent at creating separation and has the hands to line up in any wide receiver slot.
If the Giants can land Sanu in the third round, he would immediately compete for the third wide receiver spot left vacant after the departure of Mario Manningham.
As a fan, I would be thrilled to see the G-Men pick up another local wide receiver to line up alongside Paterson native Victor Cruz.
It also doesn't hurt that he has the ability to be an absolute monster in the NFL.
After finishing dead last in rushing yards last year, the Giants offensive line could use some improvement.
I don't expect the Giants to jump out of their shoes to land an offensive lineman too early in the draft, but if Oklahoma OT Donald Stephenson is available in the fourth round, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants look to snag him.
SI.com predicts Stephenson as a fourth or fifth round pick, but he seems to be getting more attention recently.
Stephenson was a two-year starter at left tackle who also has experience playing the right side.
He may be one of the more underrated tackles in the draft, primarily because he only saw two years as a starter and rarely saw the field in his first three.
Despite not displaying incredible strength for his size (6'5'', 303 pounds), Stephenson has the footwork to keep pass-rushers from reaching the quarterback.
There is no doubt the Giants are looking to upgrade their offensive line, and having Stephenson in the mix certainly wouldn't hurt.
It also doesn't hurt that he's already somewhat familiar with the Giants' facility.
The Giants would love a bruising back to compliment Ahmad Bradshaw and fill the void left by Brandon Jacobs.
Cyrus Gray from Texas A&M may be the answer.
At 5'10'', 206 pounds, Gray may not measure up to Jacobs' size, but he can certainly punish defenders and wear down defenses.
Not only can Gray lower his shoulder to gain extra yards, but he is also known to be a great blocker, pass-catcher, and a surprisingly elusive runner in the open field.
Although there are concerns about his inside running game, Gray has been praised for being a natural runner, one whom the Giants would have no problem developing as a complimentary back for Bradshaw.
Gray also brings value as a kick returner, an area where the Giants have struggled over the past few years.
After back-to-back 1,000 yard, 12 touchdown seasons at Texas A&M, Gray could have what it takes to carry a legitimate workload in the NFL.
It has been documented that the Giants have brought Gray into their facility, so don't be surprised if the Giants snag the natural RB up in the fourth round.
Contrary to many people mocking Coby Fleener to the Giants at the end of the first round, I think the G-Men will wait until later in the draft to address the tight end position.
Until his pro day, Cincinnati tight end Adrien Robinson was virtually unknown. His impressive performance, however, made him shoot up the draft board.
Robinson, at 6'4'', 264 pounds, ran a 4.54 in the 40-yard dash while boasting a 40-inch vertical.
He is similar to Jake Ballard in the sense that he didn't catch too many balls in college, but Robinson has been described as having freakish athletic ability, while some see Ballard as clumsy.
The Giants could use a tight end to compliment newly acquired Martellus Bennett until Ballard and Travis Beckum return.
Robinson was at the Giants' facilities for a visit, so you can be sure the G-Men will have their eye on him in the middle rounds.
In the last round of the draft, the Giants may look to add to their secondary by selecting Duke's strong safety Matt Daniels.
During the 2011 season, Daniels recorded 126 tackles and was named Duke's MVP.
The strong safety is an All-American and a player that the Giants certainly have on their radar.
The Giants currently have Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Tyler Sash and newly signed Chris Horton and Stevie Brown.
Other than Rolle and Phillips, the rest of the safeties aren't expected to contribute much, with the exception of playing special teams.
Since the Giants love fueling positional competition, I think it would be a logical move to bring in Matt Daniels to duke (no pun intended) it out for the third safety spot.