The New York Giants enter this offseason with more than one hole that needs to be filled. Their first two picks in last year's draft were spent on a running back, David Wilson, and a wide receiver, Rueben Randle, so they do have some young, inexpensive talent developing on that side of the ball.
The problems that need to be addressed with more urgency are on defense.
A weak performance by the front four and the overall pass rush provided opposing quarterbacks with more time. They used that time to pick apart the Giants secondary, which was badly exposed. Add in what looks more and more like the inevitable loss of Osi Umenyiora to free agency, and the gaps in the defense grow even larger.
Dion Jordan, a defensive end out of the University of Oregon, could fix all of that.
Jordan is considered by most draft evaluators to be the top pass rushing threat in the draft. At 6'7" and more than 240 pounds, he still has extremely impressive speed and gets an excellent start off the line towards the quarterback. Jordan is a high-energy, high-motor player with a nose for the ball.
A stand-up rusher while on the line, Oregon also played Jordan at outside linebacker, where he displayed enough quickness to provide effective pass coverage. His unique combination of size and speed would suit him well in either the 4-3 or the 3-4 defense, if the Giants are considering a scheme change.
The idea of teaming him with Jason Pierre-Paul to terrorize opposing quarterbacks for years to come should excite Giants coaches, but there is one thing that might excite them even more: what Jordan's teammates have to say about his work ethic.
Tyler Johnstone, a redshirt freshman for Oregon, had this to say in an interview with Adam Jude of The Oregonian:
He stands out for always being everywhere... What we see from Dion and how hard he works, I really, fully believe that's the reason he's projected in the first round. NFL (scouts) come to our practices and they just drool over him. ... When everyone else is walking, Dion sprints.
Much like Pierre-Paul when he was drafted, Jordan is an unpolished, unfinished product. Having committed to Oregon as a wide receiver, he has some learning to do on tackling and angles to the ball-carrier. However, his physical gifts and potential definitely make him worth the first-round pick.
The Giants' defensive problems need solutions. The team could do well to follow the formula that has brought it great success in the past, attacking the passer and winning the game at the line of scrimmage. Should the franchise decide to go that route, Dion Jordan could be just the solution they are looking for.
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