NFL Draft 2011: Meet Your Potential New York Giants
As time creeps on towards April's draft, more and more questions about what the Giants will do to address their many needs keep popping up. General Manager Jerry Reese has a great track record in the draft, as he has been able to find talent in later rounds.
After missing out on the playoffs this past season, the Giants will look to try and find players who can contribute immediately, as well as some players who can be developed.
With their six picks in this upcoming draft (no fifth-round pick), here are some possibilities for each round.
First Round: OLB Bruce Carter
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Last time the Giants drafted an OLB out of North Carolina, it worked out pretty well for them (on the field, at least). Carter fills both very much a need as well as a value pick for the Giants. An aging Keith Bullock did not produce well for New York last season, and the defense needs a presence at the linebacker position to be there for many years to come.
Carter draws a lot of comparisons to Manny Lawson, and will be able to contribute immediately.
Alternate Picks: TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Brandon Harris, RB Ryan Williams
Second Round: RB Mikel Leshoure
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With the Giants likely to let either Brandon Jacobs or Ahmad Bradshaw walk (Jacobs is more likely), a rookie running back is likely the move to find depth at the position. Leshoure averaged 5.2 yards per carry this past season.
He is 6'1", 230 pounds, but is also pretty fast. His average 40 time makes him slip in the rankings, but he would be a great pick for the Giants to develop, giving him eight to 12 carries a game spelling Bradshaw.
Alternate Picks: CB Joseph Brown, LB Greg Jones, G Marcus Danon
Third Round: C Kristofer O’Dowd
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O'Dowd is one of the best center prospects in this year's draft, so this would be a great pick for the Giants to give them some depth along an aging offensive line. O'Dowd, out of USC, can also play at the offensive guard position, so this would be a smart pick by Jerry Reese.
Alternate Picks: S Deunta Williams, RB Shane Vereen
Fourth Round: S Ahmad Black
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Black has been extremely productive for the Florida Gators at the safety position. He registered 227 tackles and 13 interceptions throughout his career in Gainesville.
The second-ranked strong safety according to nfldraftscout.com, Black could still be around in the fourth round for the Giants to pick up some depth in the secondary.
Alternate Pick: LB Casey Matthews
Sixth Round: TE Charlie Gantt
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Kevin Boss showed that he might not be the tight end of the future for the Giants, as his production severely declined throughout the season.
Gantt, while not projecting to be the starting tight end for the Giants, could possibly give the Giants some good pass blocking. He also has a good set of hands. If they do not target Rudolph and Bear Pascoe moves full time to fullback, the Giants need some depth at the tight end position, and Gantt can definitely provide depth.
Alternate Picks: WR/KR Ronald Johnson
Seventh Round: P Derek Epperson
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Matt Dodge clearly should not be the punter of the Giants at the start of next season. After his up-and-down performance throughout the season (lowlighted by his punt to DeSean Jackson), Matt Dodge is most likely going to pack his bags.
Derek Epperson could be a possibility out of Baylor to replace Dodge.
Alternate Picks: Anyone who falls much further than they are expected to, such as RB Evan Royster