2012 NFL Draft: 4 Picks Eli Manning and the New York Giants Will Love
The dust has settled after the 2012 NFL draft and teams are now looking ahead to training camps to break in their new rookies.
The Giants have a reputation for relatively quiet drafts in the past and this year was no different for them.
Even with the late picks in the rounds, the Giants are hoping to have found some talent to replace the missing key offensive pieces in Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs.
Let's take a look at four players who quarterback and reigning Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will welcome with open arms.
1. David Wilson, RB
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The Giants had the last pick of the first round last Thursday and there was much speculation as to which team need they would fulfill with it.
All was made clear when David Wilson's name was called with the 32nd overall pick.
The Giants had a need for a backup to Ahmad Bradshaw with Brandon Jacobs' departure to San Francisco and Wilson could fill that role nicely.
Wilson is a versatile running back who has shown a great deal of explosiveness and athleticism during his time at Virginia Tech.
Having a young running back with a lot of potential will give Eli some help in the running game that suffered a lot last season. Wilson could also function as a good checkdown receiver in the pass game for Manning, who likes to incorporate running backs through the air as well.
Wilson could give a boost to a once-elite Giants ground game and Manning's numbers would definitely see an increase when defenses have to respect both aspects of offense.
2. Brandon Mosely, OT
Perhaps the biggest pitfall for the Giants' running game struggles last season was the inconsistency in their offensive line.
Giants GM Jerry Reese has a history of finding quality talent in the late rounds of drafts and his fourth-round selection of Mosely might uphold that reputation.
Mosely is another pick with a good amount of upside and potential who could help to bolster an aging New York offensive line.
He does need to work on strength to get up to par with the NFL defensive lines, but Mosley could become a mainstay that helps accommodate the run and protects Eli Manning.
As Manning gets older, his body will start to wear from all of the hits he takes and having a good, strong offensive line will be key for him to keep playing at a high level.
3. Adrien Robinson, TE
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The Giants definitely needed a tight end coming into the draft and might have found a gem in the late rounds here.
Adrien Robinson was a fourth-round selection for the Giants and could prove to be a first-round talent.
His selection is similar to when the Giants selected budding superstar defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in the 2010 draft. Both were raw talents without a lot of football experience, but a ton of athleticism and upside.
Robinson is also a former basketball player, which has proven to come in handy in the realm of tight ends (see: Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates).
Manning loves using tight ends in the passing game and Robinson could be the most athletic one Manning has played with yet. Robinson also brings a good amount of speed to the table—something Eli isn't necessarily used to with his previous tight ends.
If Robinson does develop as quickly as Pierre-Paul, proves that his raw talent translates and develops in the NFL, Manning will have a nice new target to look for down the field in the passing game.
4. Rueben Randle, WR
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Randle was invited as one of the few players to be in the green room for the NFL draft. With most of these players going in the first round, Randle was still waiting well into the second round and almost the third.
The Giants finally selected Randle—projected to be a first-rounder—when he slipped to the 63rd overall pick.
Randle is a receiver with good size, doesn't have great speed but has solid route-running ability. Manning and the Giants will be keeping their eye out for Randle to see if he can earn his spot as the Giants' slot receiver over the likes of Jerrel Jernigan, Domenik Hixon, and Ramses Barden.
While the Giants have plenty of young talent at receiver, the team definitely got a value pick by getting Randle as late as they did. Manning could always use another big receiver to help him out and Randle could be that man should he work his way in before the regular season starts.
Manning could benefit from having a big target in the slot in Randle, who could develop into a Hakeem Nicks type receiver down the line.