It seems obvious to me that the Giants have made little effort to sign or trade for a wide receiver because they're waiting for March 31, 2009 to roll around. It's a day that N.Y. fans know all too well as Plaxico Burress’s court date.
However, Burress’s fate has not stopped Jerry Reese from adding numerous defensive players this off season. In fact, these additions have the Giants faced with a new problem.
OK, so it's not really a "problem," but a decision. Though they have 10 picks in the 2009 draft, the Giants most likely cannot afford 10 more contracts (and definitely cannot fit 10 new players on their squad). There has been talk of the Giants acquiring Braylon Edwards from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for picks, but nothing has been proposed.
As in the past few years, it seems that Reese’s intentions are to build through the draft. In order for the logistics to work out, it seems the team will need to trade up once or twice in this draft to lower their total number of picks and increase the number of players they have to choose from.
Here's how I see it playing out:
Round 1, Pick 20 (via trade with Lions): Rutgers WR Kenny Britt
The trade would look something like this: the Giants acquire the 20th overall pick while the Lions acquire the 45th overall, 60th overall, 200th overall, and WR Sinorice Moss.
There are reports that Detroit is looking to trade this pick, and while they may not need Moss, they'd get three picks instead of one and a former second-round receiver looking to prove himself.
Meanwhile, the swap would lower the total picks the Giants have to eight yet preserve their original first rounder. They'd also make roster space by trading Moss.
The move up would allow N.Y. to select Britt after the Bears elect not to pick him with 18th selection. Yes, Kenny is scheduled to work out for the Bears, but so are other receivers.
Though he's 6'3", 210 pounds, Britt ran the 40 in 4.40 seconds at the Rutgers Pro Day, which shows improvement on his NFL Combine time. He has the size and height to be molded into a Plaxico Burress-type player.
So if Plaxico does not come back for the 2009 season, Britt will be a great addition to the receiving corps. If Burress does return, teams can just try to stop Burress, Smith, Britt, Hixon, and the rest of this corps. This pick makes so much sense for the Giants, but it appears that they will not be able to wait for the 29th pick to get the wideout.
Of course, if it looks as if Britt will slide to 29, the Giants will wait it out. This guy could be a future Hall of Famer; you heard it here first!
Round 1, Pick 29: UConn OT William Beatty
The Giants will select this offensive tackle who started all 13 games his senior year after missing the previous campaign. He pushed the 225 a staggering 27 times at the combine.
The Giants' offensive line was amazing last year, as they blocked for two 1,000-yard rushers and the team took the number one ranking in rushing yards. But New York needs depth, as Kevin Boothe was very inconsistent in his backup role.
The Giants could look for a linebacker here, but they signed Boley this offseason. Besides, at 29, all the first-round linebackers will most likely be chosen already.
Round 3, Pick 91: Oregon State CB Keenan Lewis
The Giants need another corner to add depth and to eventually mold into their third corner on the depth chart. They terminated the contract of Sam Madison which makes the position one of need.
According to reports, Lewis can play safety as well, and that makes him an even better pick. He could add depth to either position, depending on what the Giants need when training camp comes along.
His 40 time is just under 4.50 seconds, which is not blazing, but scouts say he makes up for his lack of raw speed with quick decision making and great instincts.
Round 3, Pick 100 (compensatory): San Jose State CB Christopher Owens
This guy ran a 4.40 at his pro day, and if he is available here, the Giants can be forgiven picking two cornerbacks within ten slots of each other.
The reason is that CBs currently on the roster Aaron Ross and Corey Webster are still a bit unproven. Both play well at times, but if the Giants can add some legit depth behind them, it may make for a better training camp as all the cornerbacks try to prove they are starters.
This also makes a good pick if the Giants indeed choose Lewis and opt to use him as a safety.
Round 4, Pick 115 (via trade with Jets): Pittsburgh MLB Scott McKillop
The trade would look something like this: the Giants acquire 115th overall pick while the Jets acquire the 129th and 151st picks. This would allow the G-Men to trim their count to seven picks and snag a future starting linebacker.
Of course, McKillop may not be available here, as he performed well at the combine, but some still have him around the middle of the fourth.
Reading through the negatives posted on draft projection sites, it seems his physical strength may be in question. I say give him a weight room and a New York Giants strength coach, and he will build.
It seems he has trouble shedding blocks, and some scouts also worry about him bringing down NFL backs. These issues could easily be addressed by adding some strength during the offseason.
Now remember that he'll be learning from one of the best middle linebackers in the game, Antonio Pierce. If Pierce can teach him how to be a "quarterback of the defense" as Antonio is now, McKillop could be one of the best in two or three years.
Round 5, Pick 164: Rutgers WR Tiquan Underwood
Alright, so only two scouts from the Giants attended the Rutgers Pro Day, but they noticed more than Kenny Britt. They realized that Underwood would be a steal in the fifth round, where he fell on most boards due to his poor performance during Rutgers' 1-5 start.
They also realized how Mike Teel’s performance hindered him in college. With a little observation at the pro day, it was quite obvious the Scarlet Knight QB was off the mark: His throws were everywhere from overthrown to underthrown to (occasionally) on target.
But Underwood was quite on the mark when watching the ball into his hands and turning quickly after catching. Plus, he's fast: He ran a 4.41 at the Combine. While he only measures in at 6'1", when watching him play, he reminds me of a young Amani Toomer. It would be interesting to see the two receivers make it on the same NFL team and battle it out for playing time.
This pick would also be additional insurance in the case of Burress not being able to return.
Round 7, Pick 238: Florida State K/P Graham Gano
The Giants should pick a kicker in the seventh round for two reasons.
One is that you can actually get a very good kicker in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. The second is that Lawrence Tynes played very little last year, and Jeff Feagles is nearing the end of his career.
Gano can perform both kicking and punting duties. And while the Giants may have been planning to only have two legs on their roster this season, the smart decision may be to have three again.
Gano could have a long career in the NFL, and the whole thing could be in Giants blue. He made five out of seven field goals of 50 yards or longer and was perfect from 49 yards in, leaving him 24-of-26 on the season last year.
While he may not beat Feagles for the punting job, it could be his when the 43-year-old retires. Gano averaged 42.7 yards per punt last year and 43.3 in 2007.