Auburn OL Greg Robinson should be on the Giants' short list.
General manager Jerry Reese, along with his trusted staff of scouts, will look to bring on about a half-dozen youngsters to help turn his team around. Reese's Giants finished outside of the playoff picture in 2013 with a 7-9 record.
This article will highlight 10 NFL draft prospects, each of whom is a good fit in New York. Every Giants fan eager for Big Blue's remodeling must familiarize his or herself with this list of future NFLers.
On Tuesday morning, Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson declared for the 2014 NFL draft after completing just two seasons (and a redshirt season) with the Tigers.
Robinson (6'5", 320 lbs.) is only 21 years old, but he will make an immediate impact with any team that drafts him. Behind their behemoth tackle, the Auburn Tigers rode a rampant running game all the way to a National Title bid, where they ultimately fell to Florida State, 34-31.
As a sophomore, Robinson made the first-team All-SEC squad. He also landed third-team All-America honors from the Associated Press. It is safe to assume those distinctions would continue to roll in throughout his final two years of eligibility, had Robinson opted to stay at Auburn.
Instead, he will take his talents to the next level. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com will tell you that's where he belongs, as he did not hesitate to describe Robinson as "the most dominating player on the Rose Bowl field" in his assessment of the NFL prospects that littered the BCS National Championship game.
The Giants are in need of offensive linemen at all positions. While current tackles Will Beatty and Justin Pugh appear to be the most firmly entrenched blockers, New York will surely make room for a player like Robinson, who is absolutely worth a first-round pick.
The University at Buffalo is not a renowned stomping ground for future NFL talent, but Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack harbors some eye-catching ability.
Mack (6'3", 248 lbs.) just completed his senior campaign at Buffalo, which concluded with a 49-24 loss to San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. In a losing effort, Mack recorded six tackles.
The linebacker, touted for his athleticism, was a first-team All-MAC selection in each of the past three seasons. He was the Mid-American Conference's 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, while also garnering enough votes to be named a second-team All-American by the Associated Press as a senior.
Some consider Mack among the 2013 draft class' top pass-rushers, and he has even drawn comparisons to former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Von Miller of the Denver Broncos (per NFL.com). He has also forced an NCAA-record 16 fumbles at Buffalo.
The Giants, who lack elite talent at linebacker, could use a first-round caliber athlete like Mack. Strong against the run and the pass, Mack would make "a terrific Sam [strong-side] linebacker in a 4-3 under scheme," according to a review of the Bulls linebacker conducted by Bucky Brooks of NFL.com.
With the craze over ex-hoopsters still in full swing, players like Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will still be hot commodities in the 2014 draft.
Seferian-Jenkins (6'6", 276 lbs.) played one year on the hardwood for the Huskies, but he has since blown up as an NFL prospect. First, he won the John Mackey award, which is given to the nation's best tight end. Now, he is projected to be one of the first tight ends scratched off the board next spring.
Although Seferian-Jenkins's junior campaign was less prolific than his sophomore season, the big pass-catcher still set school records for career receptions by a tight end (110), receiving yards by a tight end (1,388) and receiving touchdowns by a tight end (13).
The Husky earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors, as well as a third-team All-America distinction. Seferian-Jenkins' receiving prowess is well-known, but Gil Brandt of NFL.com believes he must improve as a blocker to thrive in the professional ranks.
The Giants will be on the lookout for a bigger, faster tight end than Brandon Myers in the 2014 offseason, according to recently retired offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride (via Ralph Vacchiano on Twitter).
Seferian-Jenkins could be their man.
Part of Michigan State's staunch "No-Fly Zone" secondary, Spartans cornerback Darqueze Dennard will be atop many teams' wish lists this spring.
Dennard (5'11", 197 lbs.) won the 2013 Jim Thorpe award, which honors college football's most outstanding defensive back. He is subsequently projected as the top cornerback in this year's draft class, according to The Sports Xchange.
With 10 interceptions in his collegiate career, Dennard was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2012 and 2013. In his senior season, Dennard became the first Michigan State cornerback to be named a consensus first-team All-American, according to his profile on the school website.
A sure-fire first-rounder, Dennard is "so good he can cut the field in half," according to Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times. He has drawn favorable comparisons to Darrelle Revis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who is widely considered the NFL's best shutdown corner.
With veteran cornerback Corey Webster aging and possibly on his way out, the Giants could use their first-round pick to select a game-changing defensive back like Dennard to play opposite the already blossoming Prince Amukamara.
For teams looking to get thicker in the middle of the defense, Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman should be on the short list.
Oozing with potential, Hageman (6'6", 311 lbs.) is one of this year's top defensive tackle prospects. The Sports Xchange called him the "star" of the Golden Gophers' defense and named him the player to watch in the Texas Bowl, which Syracuse claimed by a score of 21-17.
Hageman won Minnesota's 2013 Bronko Nagurski award, which goes to the team's most valuable player. He was also recognized in the conference with a first-team All-Big Ten honor, as well as nationally with a third-team All-American selection (Athlon Sports).
An explosive athlete, Hageman models his game after those of Houston's J.J. Watt and Detroit's Ndamukong Suh—two of the NFL's premier interior D-line talents. To reach the levels of Watt and Suh, however, Hageman must be more consistent. Some fear he is a "boom-or-bust" prospect (per NFL.com).
The Giants, who have shown an increased interest in stuffing up the middle, could bolster the defensive tackle unit by selecting a fringe first-rounder like Hageman. Mainstay DT Linval Joseph is currently eyeing up a big pay day in free agency.
Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu can get creative when he really wants something—whether it's a sack or a hot chicken wing.
A former linebacker, Attaochu (6'3", 242 lbs.) has a well-rounded background, and was voted "most likely to be an NFL star" by his teammates at Tech, according to his profile on the Yellow Jackets' website.
Attaochu was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press in 2013—his first season playing end in a 4-3 base defense. With a single sack against Mississippi in the Music City Bowl—a game Georgia Tech lost, 25-17—Attaochu became the school's all-time sack leader (32).
In a four-sack outing against the rival Georgia Bulldogs, Attaochu showed his prowess on the edge, where many experts expect him to be a disruptive force at the next level. He had a total of 13 sacks in his senior season with the Jackets.
Attaochu, who is not expected to be selected in the first round, could land in the Giants' lap in either the second or third round. Current New York starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck are clouded with uncertainty due to injuries and age/upcoming free agency, respectively.
Decorated University of Washington running back Bishop Sankey is considered one of the best in school history.
Sankey (5'10", 203 lbs.) is entering the draft after completing his junior season, but he leaves holding eight of the university's rushing records. Those records include career rushing touchdowns (37), single-season rushing yards (1,873) and single-season 200-yard rushing games (three, tied for record).
He can be a workhorse, as evidenced by his 40-carry outing against Arizona in 2013 (also a school record). Illinois, California and Washington State can all attest to Sankey's effectiveness as a runner. The Husky eclipsed 200 yards rushing against all three opponents as a junior. Idaho State will tell you he makes the most of each carry, as Sankey took a mere four carries for 77 yards and a touchdown in a blowout over the Bengals back in September.
Sankey was a second-team All-American, as named by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Additionally, the team captain was a first-team All-Pac-12 honoree.
The Giants could nab Sankey in one of the early mid-rounds and, in turn, gain some much-needed consistency in the offensive backfield.
Making the early jump to the next level, Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton believes he can crack a solid cast of edge-rushers in this year's draft class.
Crichton (6'3", 265 lbs.) was one of the Beavers' best defenders as a junior in 2013. He notched 7.5 sacks in '13—a slight drop from his nine-sack total from the season before—but Crichton has a knack for making the timely play. His strip-sack in the Hawaii Bowl helped Oregon State rise to a 38-23 victory over Boise State.
Crichton was named to the All-Pac-12 second-team defense this past season.
Due to a stout frame, Crichton can line up and play effectively at any position along the defensive line, including nose guard. Rob Rang of CBSSports.com describes Crichton as a "safe" pick that has a ceaseless motor, but lacks elite upside.
Enamored by Crichton's versatility, the Giants could scoop up a defensive end like Crichton if he goes unclaimed until the second or third round.
Cody Hoffman completed his career with Brigham Young as the school's most prolific receiver.
Hoffman (6'4", 210 lbs.) is BYU's record-holder for career receptions (248), receiving yards (3,445) and receiving touchdowns (33). In addition to 18 career 100-yard games with the Cougars, Hoffman caught at least one pass in 43 consecutive games.
The Cougar receiver is at his best on the biggest stages. In four career bowl games, Hoffman recorded 137, 122, 114 and 167 yards. In each of his first two bowl appearances (2010 and 2011), he hauled in a hat-trick of touchdowns.
Hoffman is a perennial standout among teams without a conference. In 2013, he was as All-Independent team honorable mention.
The Giants, who could see Hakeem Nicks walk in free agency this spring, usually accept any and all competition at wide receiver. Hoffman will likely be available in the mid- to late-rounds of the 2013 draft.
General managers that turn to the Football College Subdivision teams—still Division I, but a step down from the Bowl Championship Series teams—will likely stumble upon a gem in North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner.
Turner (6'6", 314 lbs.) has the ideal frame for an NFL-caliber tackle. He may have played college ball against less than stellar competition, but few O-linemen have racked up honors like Turner has with the Bison.
He was selected to three different first-team All-America squads as a junior in 2012, and last month Turner was named to his second consecutive Associated Press All-America first team. His Bison claimed their third consecutive FCS championship last month, taking out Towson decisively, 35-7.
Like many prospects coming from the FCS ranks, Turner has some serious technique concerns but makes up for it with "an on-field demeanor that will endear him to NFL coaches," according to Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com.
The Giants will be revamping their offensive line in the offseason, so there is no better time to take a mid- to late-round chance on a high-upside project like Turner.