The New York Giants have a lot of work to do this offseason in order to get back to the playoffs in 2013, and it all starts at the combine for Big Blue.
This year should be a defense-heavy draft for Jerry Reese and the G-Men, as New York owned the 31st total defense in the NFL last season.
We can sit here and talk all day about first-rounders the Giants should fall in love with, but what I aimed to do here was highlight some guys—besides Ezekiel Ansah—who could be drafted by the Giants after the first round.
*Please note that while the Giants undoubtedly need help in the secondary, this article was written before the defensive backs worked out at the combine.
With the Giants needing a middle linebacker to spell—or even replace—Chase Blackburn and Mark Herzlich in the future, New York could look at someone like Jon Bostic.
The 6'1", 245-pound inside linebacker was considered a top performer by NFL.com in the 40-yard dash (4.61), three-cone drill (6.99 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.24 seconds).
In short, this guy has the necessary speed to be a middle linebacker on New York's defense.
His 40 time was the third-fastest among linebackers, and he could bring that type of athleticism to the G-Men in 2013.
His name has been tied to the G-Men all offseason, and after a strong showing at the 2013 Senior Bowl, defensive end Ezekiel Ansah continued to shine at the combine.
He hasn't even touched an NFL field yet and he's already being compared to Jason Pierre-Paul (via John Clayton of ESPN).
Like JPP, at 6'5", 271 pounds, Ansah has freakish athletic ability and was dubbed a top performer in the 40-yard dash (4.63), vertical jump (34.5 inches) and broad jump (118 inches), according to NFL.com.
Ansah looked great in drills and now has some of the highest stock among defensive linemen in the upcoming draft.
With Osi Umenyiora probably leaving New York, the Giants have a void to fill at the DE spot and Ansah certainly fits the mold, especially after a fantastic showing at the combine.
If the Giants are looking to acquire a solid linebacker late in the draft, look no further than outside linebacker Cornelius Washington, who is projected to go in the fifth round, according to CBS Sports.
Washington had one of the strongest days at the combine among linebackers, excelling in the 40-yard dash (4.55), bench press (36 reps), vertical jump (39 inches) and broad jump (128 inches)—all of which were considered top performances in his class by NFL.com.
Washington opened a lot of eyes at the combine, including those of NFL draft analyst Dion Caputi:
If Big Blue could get a linebacker with the talent that Washington owns in the fifth round or later, it'd be one of the biggest steals in the 2013 draft.
Get em', Jerry!
After cutting Chris Canty from the squad, the Giants should be looking to get deeper at defensive tackle, especially with all of the questions surrounding Marvin Austin.
Brandon Williams had a solid day in Indy and could be drafted as late as the third round, according to CBS Sports.
The defensive tackle led all DTs with 38 bench press reps and displayed quick feet for a lineman with 6'1", 335-pound size.
Not only was Williams solid at the combine, but NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah also makes note of his campaign at the 2013 Senior Bowl:
After watching the tape, star of the day was Missouri Southern DT Brandon Williams. Destroyed OG Brian Winters repeatedly. #SeniorBowl— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 24, 2013
The Giants should be focused on stopping the run in the NFC East this season and Williams can surely help in that department.
There's no doubting that New York needs help on the offensive line—especially at the tackle position—which is where Kyle Long enters the picture.
Long has some of the best athleticism among offensive linemen, as the 6'6", 313-pound lineman ran a 4.94 40-yard dash, which was the third-fastest time among offensive linemen.
As the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, the young offensive lineman surely lived up to the family name at the combine, as our own Matt Miller tells us:
Looking back over my notes, think Kyle Long shut up a lot of folks who called him stiff and unexplosive. Athletic drills showed an athlete.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 24, 2013
Long is a tackle the G-Men could spend a second-round pick on and see him make an immediate impact next season, especially with David Diehl taking a step backward in 2012.
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