The New York Giants will soon be on the clock!
Thanks to their 7-9 record and their strength of schedule, the Giants will have 12th slot in the NFL draft.
You want to talk about pressure?
In their last three drafts, the Giants have gotten three starters—cornerback Prince Amukamara (2011), running back David Wilson (2012) and tackle Justin Pugh (2013).
Further, if you look at the Giants' draft classes dating back to 2009, 43 percent of those picks are out of the league. That simply hasn’t been good enough, which team COO John Mara acknowledged in his season-ending press conference.
If New York's front office believes (as it should) that the draft is the backbone of the team’s future, then it can ill-afford to continue its riverboat gambling on prospects with a questionable injury history or whose skills are not a match for the system.
That's why this year, the pressure is on general manager Jerry Reese and his staff to make sure that they start putting together a draft class whose members can be a part of the team's foundation rather than its history.
They'll get six chances to do that, at least as of this writing. The Giants, remember, traded a seventh-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for linebacker Jon Beason.
In a couple of months, we'll learn if the Giants will be awarded any compensatory picks as a result of their 2012 free agency gains and losses.
What direction might the Giants take in the draft? Certainly what they do in free agency could have an influence on their strategy.
As of right now, there’s probably no debate that the offense needs to be the focus, and that includes addressing virtually every position on that side of the ball to help fix a unit that finished 28th in the league.
Here's my attempt at an early mock draft addressing some of those needs.