NFL Draft 2011: 7 Players the New York Giants Should Consider at No. 19
The New York Giants went 10-6 last season and missed the playoffs. It was a tough season for Giants fans as the team lost a number of games it should have won.
The devastating loss to the Eagles on DeSean Jackson's punt return after an absurd comeback left a bitter taste in many fans' mouths.
The Giants hope to return with a vengeance next season, and their first-round pick will be the first step towards a re-tooled Giants team ready for every challenge.
Akeem Ayers (LB UCLA)
The Giants had holes at linebacker last season with an aging Keith Bulluck and inexperienced Jonathan Goff and Michael Boley.
Whether through his interception returns for touchdowns or numerous sacks, Akeem Ayers made plays for UCLA throughout his career. The Giants could slide him to either OLB position and set his tremendous speed and playmaking ability loose on the NFC East.
Anthony Castonzo (OT Boston College)
Kareem McKenzie and David Diehl are now both over 30. The Giants need to start stockpiling more depth on the line. Center Shaun O'Hara went down last year and players shifted all around.
A player like Boston College's OT Anthony Castonzo could stabilize the line and plug a hole at tackle for the next decade for the Giants.
Kyle Rudolph (TE Notre Dame)
Giants fans love Kevin Boss because of his heroics during their Super Bowl run after Jeremy Shockey went down earlier in the season with an injury.
The fact of the matter is, he is only an average tight end and the Giants might not even re-sign him next season. Boss dropped nearly one-third as many balls as he caught this season.
Rudolph is primarily a receiving tight end. He's got speed that can burn most linebackers and his route-running and build give him an edge against safeties. He would be a welcome addition to a Giants attack that struggled mightily on third-downs.
Mark Ingram (RB Oklahoma)
The NFL is quickly becoming a league where featured backs are a thing of the past. Ever since Thunder and Lightning (Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne), the Giants have had at least two (except in some of Barber's peak seasons) and even three (see 2007 with Ward, Bradshaw and Jacobs) competent running backs.
Bradshaw is a free agent this offseason and his issues with ball security might scare the Giants away from re-signing him to an expensive contract.
The 2009 Heisman winner, Mark Ingram, could be a great fit for the G-Men. His electric speed and running style would nicely complement Jacobs upright, bruising attack.
Tyron Smith (OT USC)
Another guy to add depth to the offensive line, USC OT Tyron Smith, came into college rated as one of the top lineman recruits in the nation. Smith was a backup for two seasons before becoming a starter.
With only two seasons of playing time under his belt, Smith is a raw prospect with a lot to learn, and could get a little heavier than his current 280-pound frame, but his potential is exciting to NFL coaches.
Mike Pouncey (OG Florida)
Florida's right guard would provide immediate depth to the inside of the offensive line. Rich Seubert and Shaun O'Hara are both coming off major surgeries and aging quickly.
The Giants need a reliable backup and someone to start grooming to replace O'Hara. On the Giants, the center is responsible for making all line calls and determining who picks up each defender.
Pouncey is one of the most talented interior linemen in the draft and the Giants would do well to select him.
Corey Liuget (DT Illinois)
The Illinois DT never fully lived up to his potential in college, but has all the tools to be a solid pro.
The Giants have a number of needs, as does every team every year. The difference between every other team and the Giants is the Giants always seem to take defensive linemen.
General Manager Jerry Reese abides by the philosophy that one can never have enough pass-rushers. In recent years, the Giants have taken Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiawanuka and William Joseph in the first round, in addition to starters Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck in the second and third rounds.
Big Blue is a pass-rushing defense and while it would be surprising to see the Giants fortify a strength instead of rectifying a weakness, never count out defensive linemen with the Giants on the clock.