The biggest need was middle linebacker, offensive line, and defensive tackle in no particular order.
According to NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., the above mentioned positions were key for the New York Giants in this year's draft. Through the first three rounds, the Giants have only addressed one of those three. Is Jerry Reese losing his mind?
Not at all.
The general manager is having a solid draft so far, just like he does every year. Fans may not agree with every selection, but the average NFL follower knows little about players who are drafted after the first round.
These players in the second and third rounds can build the foundation of a team for years to come. And Jerry Reese is doing that; building a foundation.
First Round - Jason Pierre-Paul , DE, USF
First round pick Jason Pierre-Paul out of USF will be a work in progress. He is an athletic freak at 6'5", 270 lbs., but has only played one year of Division 1 football.
Pierre-Paul was a curious pick at first, but after reading up a little the Giants sure needed him. He will be able to play along the defensive line and can probably play as a stand up rusher on passing downs if there isn't enough room in the trenches.
The Giants also have expiring contracts soon, with Mathias Kiwanuka in the last year of his contract and Osi Umenyiora's contract running out in 2012. JPP may be the heir to the coveted defensive end position in New York.
Second Round - Linval Joseph, DT, ECU
The Giants needed some help at defensive tackle. They will be getting it with the services of Linval Joseph out of ECU.
At 6'5" 330 lbs., Joseph is a huge addition to a weak New York Giants tackle position.
The Giants let go of Fred Robbins in the offseason, but still have guys like Chris Canty, Barry Cofield, and Jay Alford to be effective. Joseph will have to earn his time with this rotation of players.
Another quick note on Joesph; Mike Mayock has said that this guy can kick out to defensive end if needed. That adds great value to this pick, especially for a defensive-minded team like the Giants.
He has good speed for his size and can disrupt the middle of the pocket; something the Giants have not been able to do for a couple of years now. This is a great pick up for New York.
Third Round - Chad Jones, S, LSU
Jones was the most questionable pick that Jerry Reese has made thus far.
Before free agency, safety was a huge need for the Giants. But with the signing of Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant, and Kenny Phillips still on this team, where does Jones find the room to play?
I see Jones as an insurance policy first and a solid backup second.
Grant is already 31 and was only brought in for depth.
Michael Johnson is a decent starter, but he has problems in coverage. He is more of a box safety and not necessarily a great starting option.
If Phillips can not come back at full strength, we may see Jones getting some major playing time this year.
He has been known for his big hits and average coverage skills. He picked off three passes in his junior year and helped the Tigers hold opponents to under 200 passing yards per game while playing in LSU's secondary.
He is a nice pick for the Giants in the third round.
Overall Grade - B
The Giants may not have addressed their biggest needs, but they did grab quality players that can help in a couple of years. With the right coaching, these raw players can flourish into solid starters.
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