Breaking Down Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay's Final Draft Projections for Giants
The Giants' defense ranked 31st in the league in total defense last season and desperately needs to shore up the secondary, which is the direction Kiper and McShay have the G-Men going with the No. 19 overall pick on Apr. 25.
New York seemed to focus on defense during the offseason, inking Dan Connor, Aaron Ross and Cullen Jenkins while re-signing Stevie Brown (via Sports Illustrated), but the G-Men still have plenty of needs to fill on the defensive side in order to get back to the postseason in 2013.
Let's take a look at what Kiper and McShay have the Giants doing in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.
Desmond Trufant is a name that has been mentioned as first-round talent in the past, and I've consistently mocked him within the first round over the past few months, but to teams later in the round like the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos.
Trufant is 6'0" and runs a 4.38 40, which helps him keep pace with wide receivers. He's smooth in coverage and owns a clean backpedal, ultimately making him solid in coverage.
In terms of ball skills and playing against the run, Trufant still has some work to do, but that's not to say he can't be developed into a complete corner.
Overall, I like Trufant's speed in coverage, but I think New York needs a more complete tackler who can stop the rush, as this area was a consistent issue for the Giants' defense last season.
Sorry Mel, but I like McShay's pick of D.J. Hayden out of Houston for Big Blue.
Aside from his 5'11" size and past medical issue—which our medical expert Dave Siebert describes here—Hayden is one of the most complete corners in this year's draft.
Hayden changes direction extremely well and has shown the ability to go up and challenge receivers for the ball at the height of the route. Despite his small height, Hayden plays big and is actually a very good tackler.
Hayden's awareness is excellent and his ability to play against the run and provide solid coverage in the secondary make him the better pick for the Giants' defense in the 2013 NFL draft.
The Final Say
New York could go a multitude of ways in the first round of the draft.
It has needs to fill along the offensive line as well as at defensive end, linebacker and cornerback. If the Giants are set on bolstering their secondary with the No. 19 pick, I like the selection of D.J. Hayden.
Who should the Giants draft with the No. 19 pick?
Hayden appears to be a little undersized but his 190-pound frame helps him contend with bigger wideouts and pitch in against the run.
Bjoern Werner could be an option for Big Blue at 19, but if they do decide to go corner in the first round, I think Hayden is the right pick in New York.
Corey Webster certainly declined from his 2011 campaign with the Giants, we're still waiting for Prince Amukamara to take that next step and elevate his game in New York's secondary and no one knows how Terrell Thomas will fare coming off multiple ACL tears.
Don't expect Hayden to come in and be an absolute stud for Big Blue, but with the right coaching under Peter Giunta and a solid work ethic, Hayden could be the cornerback of the future for the Giants.
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