NFL Draft Picks Who Would Be Instant Starters for New York Giants
While the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers look forward to Super Bowl Sunday, 30 other NFL teams, including the defending champs, look forward to restocking at April's draft. With ostensible holes on both sides of the ball, the New York Giants could find an opening day starter in Round 1.
General manager Jerry Reese works by a "best talent available" mantra, meaning that anything goes come draft day. Let's take a look at some potential picks that would make an immediate impact for the G-Men.
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
If the Giants can't re-sign Will Beatty, Lane Johnson would be a natural choice for left tackle.
An Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree and a 320-pound physical freak, Johnson excelled at Oklahoma this year. Projected to be a first-round draftee, he also spent time on the right side of the line.
New York has already expressed interest in Johnson, and his flexibility is certainly enticing.
Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
It's crazy enough to make sense.
Te'o offers top-10 talent with precipitous downside. His struggle in the BCS title game and shocking involvement in a notorious "girlfriend hoax" has Te'o's draft stock falling through the middle of the first round. Should he land to the Giants, he could squeak his way into the starting lineup.
Both linebackers Michael Boley and Mathias Kiwanuka struggled at times in 2012, and New York's mid-level defense desperately needs an upgrade on the edge. Te'o's seven interceptions this season would be welcomed with open arms.
The Heisman Trophy candidate notched double-digit tackles in six games this year, and has a good jump on run defense. An able blitzer and strong in pass coverage, the Giants might be willing to roll the dice.
Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Of course, settling for Georgia's Alec Ogletree wouldn't be a problem.
Ogletree recorded double-digit tackles in all but two of the games he played in 2012, adding three sacks and an interception for the Bulldogs. His aggressive play would help the league's 21st most efficient run defense.
If the Giants look to make a shake-up at linebacker, Ogletree could be their guy. Strong enough to stuff the middle and athletic enough to keep pace with a tight end, Ogletree could make an immediate impact in 2013.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Martellus Bennett will surely ask for more than the $2.5 million he received this offseason. If the Giants can't bring him back for 2013, Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert is a viable option at tight end.
Eifert's 6'5" frame is Plaxico Burress-esque, and he recorded nearly 700 receiving yards to lead the Fighting Irish in a busy 2012. Eifert has improved his blocking over the past three years, and would give the Giants another big vertical target.
If Bennett is not re-signed, Eifert wouldn't have much competition for the starting job. His upside outweighs Bear Pascoe and 2012 draftee Adrien Robinson.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
A walk-on to the BYU track team, Ezekiel Ansah is already drawing comparisons to New York's Jason Pierre-Paul.
Ansah took up football later than his draft class peers, but his physicality makes up for inexperience. After spending time at linebacker for the Cougars, he could be a good fit along New York's struggling d-line.
With defensive end Justin Tuck aging, Ansah could possibly become a starter by the end of 2013.