NFL Draft 2008: Defensive Line a Giant Need
Late tonight, after getting back from work, I read two articles one from <a href="http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/giants/ny-spgiants225659651apr22,0,5692581.story">NewYork Newsday </a>and the other from the <a href="http://www.nypost.com/seven/04222008/sports/giants/safety_net_107585.htm">The
New York Post</a>. Newsday writer Tom Rock writes about the Giants selecting a linebacker with their first pick. On the contrary, I do not think the Giants have an urgent need in this area. Although the Giants lost Kawika Mitchell and Reggie Torbor, I think the Giants have Zak DeOssie(2007 4th round selection) and newly signed Danny Clark as added depth. I think they may draft a linebacker on day two of the draft. With an uncanny abilty of uncovering gems in the late rounds, I think the Giants will select a linebacker on day two. Recall, former Giant LB Gary Reasons was a fourth round pick. I thought Reasons was a fantastic player.
Even though starting safety Gibril Wilson signed with the Raiders, NY Post writer Paul Schwartz speculates the Giants may use their first round pick on University of Miami safety Kenny Phillips. Again, I do not think this is a major area to fill with a first round pick. The Giants still have James Butler and recently signed Sammy Knight penciled in as the starting safeties. Unless Phillips is similar in talent to Laron Landry, I think the Giants would take him. However, it is my judgment Phillips is no where near the talent level of a Laron Landry. I saw Landry play at LSU in person. I think he is an exceptional player who is excellent in coverage as well as a hard hitter. Again, the Giants are marvelous at finding guys in late rounds. Do you remember safeties Myron Guyton, Greg Jackson, and Sam Garnes? What do these guys have in common? They were drafted on day 2 of the draft. Guyton was picked in the 8th, Jackson in the 3rd, and Garnes in the 5th round. In addition, last year, the Giants picked Michael Johnson in the 7th round. Johnson who this year will wear Garnes former number 20, I think in limited action played very well. I will never forget his game saving tackle in the Bears game. He made a spectacular open field tackle on a Bears running back which would have resulted in a long gain or touchdown. Therefore, I think safety is an exaggerated need created by the media because of the absence of Wilson. Following a pattern, I think the Giants select a safety on day 2 of the draft.
I do think the Giants will select a defensive lineman with their first round selection. I am going to guess Giants GM Jerry Reese will decide to pick USC DE Lawrence Jackson. I think Jackson is a guy who is a balanced player. He is effective against the run and rushing the passer. With Strahan's looming retirement , a possible Osi Umeniyora hold out, and the Giants are minus three defensive lineman from their depth chart. (DT William Joseph, DT Manny Wright, and DE Adrian Awasom) I think the Giants need to add quality depth to their defensive line.
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