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It should be no surprise that the Giants are looking for help along the defensive line. It is New York's most celebrated positional unit, and its most talented members are plucked in free agency at a yearly rate.
This spring, the defensive line lost two huge components, both being instrumental in the Giants' most recent Super Bowl run.
The first was defensive tackle Linval Joseph, a mean run-stuffer who can also hold his own in the pass rush. Joseph now calls Minnesota his home; the 328-pounder will continue his people-eating aptly dressed in purple.
The second was defensive end Justin Tuck, a great two-way defensive end who was a member of both the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl-winning squads. Tuck was a defensive captain, but his voice will need to be replaced in the Giants locker room as he is now a member of the Oakland Raiders.
In their places, the Giants are expecting big things from their 2013 draft class. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, a second-rounder out of Ohio State, projects to fill the massive void left by Joseph's departure. Defensive end Damontre Moore, a third-rounder out of Texas A&M, will likely be unleashed in place of Tuck.
What these youngsters can provide in energy may not make up for what they lack in veteran prowess. The magnifying glass will be on elite pass-rusher Jason Pierre-Paul to see if he can recapture his former dominance. Don't expect fellow vets Cullen Jenkins and Mathias Kiwanuka to escape the scrutiny, either.
The Giants could draft yet another 4-3 defensive end in the first round by selecting Missouri's Kony Ealy with the 12th overall pick. At 6'5", 275 pounds, Ealy projects to be a natural pass-rusher at the NFL level.
Instead, New York should pursue what's left on the open market. Former Chicago Bear and Rutherford, N.J. native Corey Wootton, 26, fits the bill at defensive end. If Mike Patterson is not re-signed to settle the defensive tackle situation, the Giants should consider 28-year-old Pat Sims, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders.