Breaking Down What New York Giants' Offseason Moves Mean for the NFL Draft
After an active month in free agency, the New York Giants have made enough significant moves during the offseason to have set themselves up for a successful draft.
New York addressed a multitude of glaring positional needs through free agency and now appears poised to use the 2013 NFL draft to take care of the rest.
With Jerry Reese heading the Giants' draft attack come late April, New York will only be stronger and more capable of making it back to the postseason.
So what offseason moves have set the Giants for a successful draft?
Let's take a gander.
The Signing of Dan Connor
There has been plenty of speculation that the Giants are looking to replace Chase Blackburn in the middle of their linebacking corps, and the signing of Connor could signal that end, as the Star-Ledger's Jenny Vrentas tweets:
Giants sign linebacker Dan Connor to one-year deal, possibly signaling end of Chase Blackburn's Giants tenure: nj.com/giants/index.s…— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) March 16, 2013
The addition of Connor will bring toughness and experience to New York's defense, as Connor spent last season playing for the Cowboys and now has a taste of what the NFC East brings to the table.
While the G-Men may not be necessarily done shoring up their linebackers, this signing means New York can spend its first-round pick elsewhere, such as on the defensive or offensive lines or in the secondary.
The Re-Signing of Stevie Brown
That news came when restricted free agent safety and 2012 breakout player Stevie Brown signed a tender to remain in blue, which will pay him $2.02 million during the 2013 campaign, according to Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk.
Brown was arguably New York's best defensive player a season ago, playing in all 16 games and compiling eight interceptions to go with two forced fumbles and 76 tackles.
I think Giants fans will need to see another consistent season out of Brown before they're true believers, but for now, the re-signing of Brown means the Giants don't need to take a safety high in the draft.
It would still be wise for the G-Men to snag a safety in the later rounds as a backup, but now the Giants can use their first four picks on other needs.
The Signing of Brandon Myers
For a while there, it looked as if the Giants were going to have to draft a tight end, as contract negotiations with Martellus Bennett weren't going smoothly.
Myers started all 16 games for Oakland last season and was an offensive force, as the 27-year-old set career highs across the board, with 79 receptions for 806 yards and four touchdowns.
With Bear Pascoe and Adrien Robinson still on the depth chart at TE, there's no reason for New York to waste a draft pick on a tight end.
In what's likely to be a defense-heavy draft for New York, it saved a draft pick by inking Myers in free agency.
The Release of Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Boley and Chris Canty
The releases of Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Boley and Chris Canty signified that New York is going in a different direction this season.
Surprisingly, New York pretty much filled these voids in free agency, during which the team isn't usually too active.
Boley will be replaced by Dan Connor, Canty by Cullen Jenkins and the performance of David Wilson and Andre Brown last season gave the Giants enough confidence to axe Bradshaw.
I never saw the Giants taking a running back in this year's draft, but I did peg them to be targeting both the LB and DT spots.
Despite the additions of Connor and Jenkins, I still wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants beef up their defense by going after both positions in the draft, but the moves New York made during free agency paved the way for it to spend high draft picks along the offensive line, defensive line and secondary.
The Signing of Cullen Jenkins
Following his release by the Eagles, the New York Giants made the right move and signed Cullen Jenkins to a three-year deal, according to Dan Hanzus of NFL.com.
After releasing Chris Canty, New York had a void to fill along the defensive line and it certainly did that by signing Jenkins, who can plug up the opposition's running game and get to the quarterback.
So what does this signing mean for the Giants in the draft?
They don't need to spend a high draft pick, but they may still want to grab a DT later in the draft, as Marvin Austin is still somewhat of an enigma at this point.
Expect Jenkins to make a big impact along New York's defensive line this year.
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