2011 NFL Draft: Narrowing Down the Options for the New York Giants at No. 19
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It would be nice if the New York Giants somehow managed to have Tyron Smith fall to them with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. But I don't see it happening. Too many teams are in need of an offensive tackle and Smith is the best in his class.
So what are the options for the Giants at No. 19? There are definitely a number of them, but I'm going to narrow the list down to five guys.
If the Giants didn't end up drafting one of these players, I would be very surprised.
Just like the rest of the slides, I'm gonna keep this one short and sweet, so here we go.
5. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Castonzo started three straight seasons at LT
Many have this Boston College tackle going to the Giants at No. 19 because both coach Tom Coughlin and offensive line coach Pat Flaherty attended his pro day.
Not to mention the fact that Coughlin has ties to BC as he used to coach there.
Castonzo makes a lot of sense because the Giants need a true offensive tackle to protect Eli Manning in the future. David Diehl has been great, but if they can get a talented rookie to play left tackle then maybe Diehl moves back to his natural position of left guard.
This scenario is especially nice considering the Giants' current starting left guard, Rich Seubert, is not expected to be fully healthy until August, and that's if his rehab goes well.
4. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
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Mark Ingram might lose a lot of money if both the Dolphins and Patriots pass on him at Nos. 15 and 17, respectively. After that, most people agree that there are no teams whose most important need is a running back.
I'm not even sure the Dolphins and Patriots fall in that category, as both could use an offensive lineman or pass rusher.
However, the Giants would have to take a serious look at Ingram if he were available. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are a terrific duo, but it may become too expensive to keep both around.
3. Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
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Nate Solder was once the top tackle in the draft and looked like it at the combine.
However, concerns that he can't keep on his weight have pushed him back to maybe the third or fourth best. He came in seven pounds lighter in a short period of time between his pro day and the combine.
He also has some bad film against elite pass rushers. In other words, he wasn't all that consistent.
However, his athletic ability and long arms make him a very attractive option for the Giants. They could mold him into one of the best left tackles in the league with the right coaching.
The raw talent is there, but he needs to be coached up before taking over the starting job.
2. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
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Ayers is an outstanding athlete with a nose for the football on defense.
In the previous two years as a starter for the Bruins, he had eight forced turnovers and seven sacks from the linebacker spot.
He has good instincts in pass coverage, reads the quarterback's eyes very well and has great speed that will allow him to cover running backs and tight ends.
The Giants need a strong-side linebacker with Keith Bulluck likely out the door, and Ayers has the talent to come in and start right away.
1. Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
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You all knew it was coming.
I have been on-board the Mike Pouncey train all offseason, and now I hope he is still available when the Giants pick.
He has moved up most peoples' draft boards. When I had mocked him to the Giants in January it was a bit of a reach.
Now it's questionable whether he will even be available.
The fact that his twin brother was so successful in the NFL in his first year has helped Pouncey's stock rise, but it's also because he can play all three interior line positions.
All-American right guard in 2009 and All-SEC center in 2010. Those are some nice credentials.
Pouncey was another player that had both Tom Coughlin and Pat Flaherty attend his pro day. Not only that, but he also had an interview prior to the pro day and a private workout following it.
Yeah, I'd say the Giants are interested.