2011 NFL Mock Draft: New York Giants Draft Take

Jake CoxCorrespondent IApril 13, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: New York Giants Draft Take

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    The New York Giants put up a solid season in 2010, despite not making the playoffs. It may be looked at as a failure because they didn't reach the postseason, but the Giants will be contenders again in 2011. The offense, particularly Eli Manning, will need to cut down on their turnovers to become a more legitimate contender.

    Manning had a very disappointing season, due to his 25 interceptions. He needs to work on his accuracy, but he still is a talented starter, as evidenced by his 31 touchdowns. Ahmad Bradshaw had a pretty productive season, but he needs to work on his ball security. He is a free agent currently, but I expect to see him back in New York next season.

    The same may not be said for Brandon Jacobs, whose high salary may push him out of the Giants plans. The wide receiver group has a lot of talent and a lot of depth. Steve Smith’s health may be a question mark at the beginning of the season, but he and Hakeem Nicks form a solid starting receiver duo. 

    Mario Manningham is a good deep threat, and Derek Hagan, Michael Clayton and Ramses Barden provide depth.  Kevin Boss is a solid tight end who is a free agent, but will most likely be back in 2011. 

    The offensive line has some question marks, particularly at the tackle position. David Diehl may move to guard, and Kareem McKenzie is getting older so the long term stability of the tackle position is questionable. Chris Snee is a pro bowler at the other guard position, but Rich Seubert and Shaun O’Hara could be limited by injuries.

    The defensive end position is still the strength of the team, with Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora as the starters. Jason Pierre-Paul has a lot of potential as pass rusher, and the depth will be great again if Mathias Kiwanuka is brought back. 

    The defensive tackles played surprisingly well, especially Barry Cofield, but Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard provide solid depth. Jonathan Goff looked pretty solid in 2010, and I think that he has the middle linebacker spot locked down.

    The outside linebacker positions are shaky, as Keith Bulluck is a free agent and he’ll most likely not be back in 2011. Neither Michael Boley nor Clint Sintim has locked down the other spot, so look for New York to bring in some competition. 

    The cornerback position is pretty solid, with Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas as the starters and Aaron Ross in the nickel back role. 

    Antrel Rolle performed pretty well as the starting free safety spot, after being the big free agent signing for the Giants. Kenny Phillips may have been affected by his microfracture surgery, but he should hold onto his starting spot over Deon Grant.

2010 Draft Recap

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    1. (15) DE Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida: He has a lot of raw talent, but he struggled early in the season before starting to improve towards the end of the year.  16 GP/ 0 GS

    2. (46) DT Linval Joseph, East Carolina: He didn’t see the field much as a rookie, but he has the potential to be a solid run stuffer in the next few years.  6 GP/ 0 GS

    3. (76) S Chad Jones, LSU: A serious car crash has led to a leg injury that may put his future in serious jeopardy.  0 GP/ 0 GS

    4. (115) ILB Phillip Dillard, Nebraska: He didn’t play very well, even though he didn’t play a whole lot of snaps on defense.  7 GP/ 0 GS

    5. (147) OG Mitch Petrus, Arkansas: Petrus is being groomed for a future starting spot at offensive guard, but I don’t think he’s ready to take over just yet.  11 GP/ 0 GS

    6. (184) OLB Adrian Tracy, William & Mary: Tracy had an injury that caused him to miss the entire season, but I’m not really sold on his long term potential.  0 GP/ 0 GS

    7. (221) P Matt Dodge, East Carolina: Dodge had a very inconsistent rookie season, but I think he has a solid future as an NFL punter.  16 GP/ 0 GS

    Summary: The Giants draft didn’t produce a lot of early returns in the 2010 season, as none of their picks made a big impact. Pierre-Paul should have a bigger impact in 2011, especially if Mathias Kiwanuka isn’t brought back. This draft could really take a hit if Jones isn’t able to return from his injury.

    Grade: D

Team Need: Offensive Tackle

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    Both of last year’s starting offensive tackles, David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie, are getting older and the Giants need to find some long term replacements for them.  Shawn Andrews has had injury problems for pretty much his entire career, and Will Beatty hasn’t really shown much potential. This may not be a very big immediate need, but the Giants will want to have a long term plan moving forward.

    The offensive line suffered a lot of injuries last season, so the Giants will want to be prepared in case the injury bug bites them again next season. 

    Look for the Giants to take a mid round tackle who can provide depth now, but can be groomed for a starting position in the future.

Potential Offensive Tackle Targets

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    Round One: Tyron Smith, Anthony Castonzo, Gabe Carimi, Nate Solder

    Round Two: James Brewer, Ben Ijalana

    Round Three: James Carpenter, Chris Hairston, Lee Ziemba

    Round Four: DeMarcus Love, Jason Pinkston

    The Giants may look to pick up a guy like Brewer or Hairston in round two or three, who can develop into a solid starting offensive tackle. 

    I think that the Giants may consider an offensive tackle in round one, especially if Tyron Smith happens to fall to the Giants in round one.

Team Need: Outside Linebacker

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    Keith Bulluck is a free agent and I really don’t think that he will be back for a second season in New York.  He is 34 years old, and the Giants will want to bring somebody in who has a long term future with the team.  Michael Boley was the other starting outside linebacker in 2010, but he didn’t play well enough to be guaranteed a starting job in 2011.

    The depth at the outside linebacker position is also a question, as Clint Sintim has not really progressed as the Giants probably thought he would’ve by now. 

    I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Giants take two outside linebackers this year, especially if Bulluck doesn’t return.

Potential Outside Linebacker Targets

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    Round One: Akeem Ayers

    Round Two: Mason Foster, Bruce Carter

    Round Three: Mark Herzlich, Colin McCarthy

    Round Four: Nate Irving, Doug Hogue, K.J. Wright, Lawrence Wilson

    Round Five: Ross Homan, Scott Lutrus

    The Giants could opt for someone like Bruce Carter in round two, who I think could make an immediate impact in the Giant’s starting lineup. Someone else, such as Homan and Lutrus could be taken in the later rounds to help improve the depth.

Team Need: Defensive Tackle

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    The defensive tackles performed pretty well overall as a group last season, but there are some questions moving forward into 2011. 

    Barry Cofield is a free agent and even though the Giants will want him back, I don’t know if they will overpay to bring him back. 

    Chris Canty has had lingering injury problems and I don’t know if the Giants can count on him for a full season.  Rocky Bernard can take over the starting role if Cofield leaves, but then the depth of this position becomes an issue.

    One potential answer could already be on the roster, in 2010 rookie Linval Jospeh.  However, he didn’t have a very intriguing year last season, and I’m not sure how well he will perform in his second season.

Potential Defensive Tackle Targets

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    Round One: Corey Liuget, Muhammad Wilkerson

    Round Two: Jurrell Casey, Christian Ballard, Marvin Austin, Drake Nevis

    Round Three: Jarvis Jenkins, Terrell McClain

    Round Four: Cedric Thornton, Lawrence Guy

    Round Five: Ian Williams

    The Giants won’t likely take a defensive tackle in round one, but the more likely scenario is in round two or three. 

    Two guys who I think would be good fits for the Giants defense are Ballard and Nevis. They would provide great depth in case Linval Joseph isn’t ready to contribute right away in 2011.

Team Need: Running Back

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    The Giants have some good talent at this position currently, but I don’t know if they will have the money to afford to keep both of their top running backs. Brandon Jacobs is coming off of a down season, in which he lost his starting job to Ahmad Bradshaw. Jacobs is due $4.6 million next season, and I don’t think that they will want to pay him that much, and get Bradshaw the raise that he is going to be seeking this offseason.

    Bradshaw may not be brought back if he demands too much money. I don’t think that the Giants will want to give a big contract to a running back that has had fumbling issues throughout his career.

Potential Running Back Targets

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    Round One: Mark Ingram, Mikel Leshoure

    Round Two: Ryan Williams, Daniel Thomas

    Round Three: Kendall Hunter, DeMarco Murray, Dion Lewis, Shane Vereen

    Round Four: Jordan Todman, Delone Carter, Bilal Powell

    Round Five: Stevan Ridley, Roy Helu Jr.

    If the Giants plan on losing either Jacobs or Bradshaw before next season, they would have a hard time passing up on Mark Ingram at the end of round one. 

    They don’t necessarily have to use a first rounder on a running back, as guys like Murray, Powell and Ridley would pair well with either Jacobs or Bradshaw.

Team Need: Tight End

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    Kevin Boss has been fairly reliable in the past couple of seasons at the tight end position, but he is a free agent right now and he may not be back. He isn’t the greatest run blocker at the tight end position, and he had some problems with dropped balls last season. The depth is also a concern, especially due to Travis Beckum’s inability to progress as a player since being drafted.

    If the Giants decide to bring back Boss, than this position may not be much of a need at all. However, if Boss decides to go elsewhere, the Giants don’t want to have to rely on Beckum to be their starting tight end.

Potential Tight End Targets

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    Round Two: Kyle Rudolph

    Round Three: Lance Kendricks, D.J. Williams, Virgil Green

    Round Four: Luke Stocker, Julius Thomas

    Round Five: Jordan Cameron, Rob Housler, Lee Smith

    There is a strong possibility that the Giants may have lost their faith in Beckum, so they could pick up a guy like Thomas or Green, who have the potential to develop into very solid players. 

    If the Giants plan on losing Boss, then they may even consider Rudolph in round two if he is still available.

Other Possible Needs

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    Center: Shaun O’Hara made the pro bowl in 2010, but he is somewhat of an injury concern moving forward and is on the downside of his career.

    Cornerback: The top three players are set in Webster, Ross and Thomas, but the depth behind these three is seriously lacking.

    Offensive Guard: Rich Seubert just had knee surgery and he may not be ready by the time the season starts. The depth at guard is also a concern.

Team Draft Strategy

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    The Giants have some big decisions to make this offseason that will ultimately decide whether or not they are serious contenders next season. They need to make decisions on whether or not to bring back Mathias Kiwanuka, Barry Cofield and Steve Smith, among others. 

    The problem is the fact that they won’t know who will be back in New York before the draft, due to the NFL labor issues. This will hurt the Giants, as they won’t know which positions they’ll need to address.

    The Giants will most likely target a mix of defensive and offensive players throughout the draft, as they have needs on both sides of the ball. 

    The Giants need to have a successful draft this year, as they need to build up the young talent on this team so that they can continue to compete with the Eagles for the division title in future seasons.