The New York Giants have many draft picks (up to 11, including compensatory picks), which means that they can maneuver basically however they please in the upcoming draft.
As the Giants' offense dwindled down the stretch in the 2009 season, many assessed the downfall to a lack of a true No. 1 receiver.
While Plaxico Burress’ absence certainly hurt the team, it wasn’t entirely his fault that the Giants faltered down the stretch. There were two very specific things that occurred which led to the downfall of the offense; they could not convert third downs and they could not command the attention of the safeties over the top to prevent them from coming down to the line of scrimmage to stop the running game.
Those issues can be resolved without having to break the bank for a No. 1 wideout, despite the fact that many people expect a blockbuster trade to occur to obtain a true No. 1 receiver. While I am not totally against this strategy, I believe that there are more economical and more effective ways to bolster the Giants' offense in the draft.
I maintain that if the Giants use their draft picks wisely, it will be more effective than any trade they can swing for a receiver. I say that in the understanding that the receiver is one of the toughest positions in the league to transition from the college game.
The following would be my draft plan if I wanted to make the Giants' offense a juggernaut.
1. Draft whoever is left between Jeremy Maclin and Darius Heyward-Bey
While neither is really a name that I have mentioned in association with the Giants in the past, I think they can contribute greatly on day one for several reasons. Maclin has amazing vertical speed that defenses will have to respect from day one.
Assuming that Hixon remains the No. 1 guy, Smith will move into the No. 2 role and Maclin can be a stud slot receiver. Most of the routes that he ran it Missouri would be similar to those he would run out of the slot. Also, Maclin gives added value as a kick returner, which can be a great way to bolster the offense via field position.
2. Draft the best player left available between Chase Coffman, Cornelius Ingram, and Jared Cook in the third round
Remember when Florida beat down Ohio State in the National Championship game? Well, if you do, there was one player that surely stood out, and it was Cornelius Ingram.
He blew out his knee in the beginning of the 2008 season, but was ready for the Championship game. Florida’s staff advised him against playing, but his determination is undeniable. At his best, Ingram can be an absolutely dominant tight end. Cook is one of the fastest tight ends coming out (4.4 40-yard dash speed) for the draft in a number of years. That could certainly demand safety respect over the top.
Lastly, Coffman was one of the most productive pass catching tight ends in years during his time at Missouri. His hands are incredible and he would fit right into the Giants offense.
The formations which the Giants throw from will be very key in this upcoming season. The two-tight-end and three-receiver sets will probably be the two most used sets, and any of the aforementioned individuals would provide immediate upgrades to those formations.
Upgraded personnel in each and every formation formation leads to more third-down conversions, which leads to more respect from the defense. Problem solved.