As The NFL Draft draws closer, it becomes easier to gauge which players will be available at a given slot in the draft. With the Giants picking 29thoverall, they are in a very good spot in this year’s draft. This particular draft class is very thick at the top, but is largely considered a crapshoot after the top ten slots.
Whenever a team selects in the first round, regardless of positions of need, they are looking to add a franchise football player. That is a fact that makes the Giants first round pick a very interesting one.
At the position that they are currently in, the Giants can certainly get a franchise player, but maybe not at the positions that people are expecting. Hakeem Nicks is a name that has certainly been tossed around among Giants fans, but his stock is rising and he may not be available at the No. 29 slot.
Even if Nicks is available, looking at the way Tom Coughlin (and more specifically Kevin Gilbride) has handled the usage of young receivers recently, (think Moss and Manningham) is a receiver really worth a first round pick?
Lets say for a second that wide receiver is not worth a first round pick. Here are some names to keep an eye on come April 25.
Brandon Pettigrew- Mock drafts across the web have had this guy selected anywhere from No. 9 to No. 35. With that in mind, I think he will be selected somewhere in between those two slots. The Giants have 10 draft picks, enough to trade up at any point.
Regarding Pettigrew, he had 112 catches, 1450 yards, and 9 touchdowns in his career at Oklahoma State. He doesn’t have great timed speed, but has a style reminiscient of Jason Witten’s.
At the tight end position, Pettigrew could turn out to be that go-to guy that Eli loves so much. He could also solve the issue of bringing a safety into the box to stop the run. Give Pettigrew enough chances, and opponents will be forced to respect this guy.
Percy Harvin- Though he is listed as a receiver, Harvin doesn’t really have a set position heading into the NFL. It will all come down to the system he plays in.
What makes Harvin a possibility for the Giants is his versatility. Look at what speed in the form if Chris Johnson did for the credibility of the Titans offense in 2008. Harvin can line up in the backfield and be that all important threat to catch passes out of the backfield.
The Giants have had amazing success historically when throwing to running backs the likes of Tiki Barber and Derrick Ward. Harvin can also run some draw plays and line up wide from time to time. The last thing anyone in this league wants to after tackling Brandon Jacobs is catch a guy like Percy Harvin.
The fact of the matter is, teams in the NFL may have to spend extra time preparing for this guy on Sundays. Though he may not be as skilled as Reggie Bush, he is also not projected to be the second overall pick in the draft, its the 29th.
Any Offensive Linemen- Ok, I am in the understanding that the Giants had one of the best offensive lines in the entire league. I am also in the understanding that the Giants build their teams in the trenches.
Consider the following: David Diehl is naturally a left guard. If a stud left tackle were to fall to the Giants, it would be wise that they pull the trigger. Diehl could then move back to left guard and Suebert could then be used for depth.
The Giants would most likely have to double team Haynesworth twice a year, and with Diehl and O Hara in the middle that should be no problem.
Left tackle is one of the most important positions in the game, and studs are not easy to come by. The Giants would not pass one up.