Dee Milliner could be the answer to a number of the Giants' defensive woes.
When you look at the problems ailing the New York Giants' defensive scheme, it's hard to pinpoint exactly where things went wrong. But, with some solid safeties and cornerbacks available in the first few rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft, the secondary may be a good place to start.
Corner backs are always a hot commodity come draft day, and it's a little hard to gauge who will be available by the time the Giants pick at No.19. And as far as safeties go, the difficulty comes with deciding who really is the best available (after one or two obvious choices).
With that though, the Giants do need improvement in the defensive back area no matter who they choose. The main debate will revolve around whether to go for one in the first round, the second round, or even both.
Here are five ideal draft picks that could supply short and long-term answers for many of the defensive woes the Giants faced this past season.
Banks had four big interceptions in Mississippi State's 7-0 start in 2012.
Johnthan Banks may be one of the most underrated backs in the entire draft and could turn out be a steal for the Giants with their 19th overall pick in the first round.
This past Tuesday, Banks was awarded the Thorpe Award, given to the best defensive back in all of college football. Nabbing 16 interceptions over the course of his career, including four picks in Mississippi's hot start this past season, were certainly huge factors for Banks' recognition.
In this year's strong defensive back crop, Banks may be overshadowed by Alabama's Dee Milliner and the bigger (6'1" 217) Xavier Rhodes out of Florida State, but his physicality and aggressiveness could set him up to be effective on the NFL a lot quicker than some of the others.
It would not be surprising if Banks was snatched up in the Top 10, but it also seems likely that he could slip to later in the first round and possibly second round. Realistically, though, Banks will be picked around the time the Giants' clock starts ticking and he could very well be the team's first choice.
Reid emerged as one of LSU's biggest leaders in his final seasons.
One of the biggest holes for the LSU Tigers heading into the 2013 season may be at the safety position, which conversely leads to a huge opportunity for the Giants.
The best safety in the draft is Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas (who we'll discuss in a couple slides) but, with a lot of other teams looking for safeties, it looks like Eric Reid may be the best available at pick No. 19 or even possibly as a steal in the second round.
Either way, this would be a great pick up for New York. The awareness and ability to read the ball for the Tigers in his last two seasons especially has shown that the 6'2" Reid could make an immediate impact and improvement in the Giants defensive scheme.
Depending on whether or not Kenny Phillips is re-signed, Reid could easily supply the Giants with some solid depth or with a nice compliment to Antrel Rolle and the emerging Stevie Brown.
Ryan had four interceptions in his senior season.
Logan Ryan may be flying under the few radar at this point in the offseason, but it is likely that he will become a much hotter commodity come Draft Day.
Ryan was key to the Rutger's defensive scheme this season, recording four interceptions last season as well as accumulating seven tackles in the team's narrow loss to Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
One of the biggest knocks against Ryan, who is leaving the Scarlet Knights with a year left of eligibility, is against his speed. Hopefully for him, working out with Darrelle Revis in Phoenix can help him some with his 40 time.
A smart player who lacks slightly in size, he is a likely second rounder. If he's available though by the time the Giants pick for a second time, he should be a no-brainer.
Vaccaro looks like the best safety available in this year's draft.
Depending on which positions start going early on, Kenny Vaccaro might night even be a discussion past the Top 10 picks in the draft. But, especially with the Giants current safety corps, they should definitely keep at least one eye on the guy who could easily be the No.1 guy for them next season.
With two interceptions and just an overall huge presence out in the field, Vaccaro was the bright spot for a Texas defense that otherwise struggled a bit in 2012.
And to go along with his impressive speed and coverage ability, one of the nice things about Vaccaro is his health and lack of injuries in his time with Texas. After suffering such a big down year with the injured Kenny Phillips, Vaccaro's durability would be much welcomed.
Milliner defended two passes in the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame.
One of the real studs in this draft, Dee Milliner has the potential to start on pretty much any NFL team from day one.
He's fast, strong, and has incredible versatility when it comes to what he has the ability to cover. If the ball had been (perhaps unwisely) thrown his direction more often in 2012, you can bet that he would have had more than two interceptions en route to helping Alabama win its third national title in four years.
Milliner seems to offer little risk and huge potential and reward, with the real debate for the Giants coming down to just whether or not he'll be available for pick No.19. If he is, then it's got to be him.
If it's not, then he's one of the few guys in the draft that may be worth trading up for.