2011 NFL Draft Results: 5 Reasons Prince Amukamara Makes Sense for NY Giants

Collin BerglundCorrespondent IIIApril 28, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Results: 5 Reasons Prince Amukamara Makes Sense for NY Giants

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    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 04:  Wide receiver Cameron Kenney #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs the ball against Prince Amukamara #21 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the Big 12 Championship at Cowboys Stadium on December 4, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The New York Giants surprised experts by picking Prince Amukamara with the No. 19 pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

    Amukamara is in the top tier in cornerbacks in the draft class, along with Patrick Peterson and Jimmy Smith.

    Amukamara has proven that he can play a physical NFL style of cornerback, he effectively jammed receivers off the line and should be able to adjust well to bump-and-run coverage.

    Amukamara will also contribute to the run defense.  He identifies runs quickly and contains the outside and slips off receiver blocks easily.

5. The Giants Aren't as Strong at Cornerback as People Think

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 1: Defensive back Prince Amukamara #2 of Nebraska runs with the football during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross are all starting quality NFL cornerbacks.  Yet none of them are true shutdown corners.

    The Giants' secondary benefits from a superb pass rush coming off of the offensive line.  As Da'Quan Bowers fell down the draft board, Giants fans could almost see Jerry Reese taking another defensive end.

    Now that the Giants have their front seven intact, Reese felt like he could try to build a defense behind it.  The current starters capitalize on the line's success.

    Amukamara can make his own plays and cover for the line when they don't get to the quarterback.

4. The Front Office Was Surprised so Many Offensive Linemen Were off the Board

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    BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Orakpo #98 of the Texas Longhorns rushes against Nate Solder #78 the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on October 4, 2008 in Boulder, Colorado. Texas defeated Colorado 38-14.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The New York Giants are aging along the offensive line and the front office was likely hoping either Mike Pouncey or Nate Solder would still be available at pick No. 19.

    When Solder went at No. 18, the Giants had to scramble and used every second on the clock to decide how to readjust their strategy.

    They were likely considering a number of other prospects, including Mark Ingram (RB, Alabama) and Da'Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson).  Amukamara was the best player available.

    Although the Giants are weakest along their offensive line, the players they felt would have helped them most were gone.  Jerry Reese has proven he is not one to reach for players.

3. The Giants Are Facing Great Passing Attacks in 2011

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    LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 30: Cornerback Prince Amukamara #21 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers breaks up a intended for wide receiver L'Damian Washington #2 of the Missouri Tigers during second half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on October 30, 2010 in L
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    The NFC East is a strong division with strong offenses.  DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin give opponents of the Philadelphia Eagles fits.  If the Giants could put a single corner on each player, it would open up the rest of the defense to concentrate on Michael Vick.

    Tony Romo also heads up one of the top passing offenses in the NFL for Dallas.  The Giants will play Dallas and Philadelphia twice this season.  They will also have to face up against Drew Brees and the Saints and Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

    Amukamara gives the Giants another player to shut down the top receivers on opposing teams.

2. Now, the Giants Might Have the Best Corners in the League

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 19:  adidas, Prince Amukamara and Reggie Bush pop into a football practice in Los Angeles to capture game faces as part of the adidas Facebook Game Face contest.  (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for adidas)
    Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    Aaron Ross.  Terrell Thomas. Corey Webster.  Prince Amukamara.  The Giants will have the best four corners in the league and can match up with any set of wide receivers opponents put on the field.  

    Each corner has a different set of strengths that will match up better against certain teams.  Amukamara is a bump-and-run guy who can cover virtually anybody on the field.  Thomas, Webster and Ross have all proven at different points in their career that they can be No. 1 cornerbacks.

    Amukamara can push each receiver down a spot and make the position deep enough to sustain injuries.

1. Jerry Reese Picks Based on Value

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    LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 26: Prince Amukamara #21 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers misses a chance at an interception from Scotty McKnight #21 of the Colorado Buffaloes during the second half of their game at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Lincoln, Neb
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    As soon as Solder was off the board, Giants fans knew to expect the unexpected.  Jerry Reese has proven time and time again in his career that he does not draft based on positional need.

    The strategy generally works out for the Giants.  Teams should consider whether they would rather have an odds-on starter, regardless of position, or a potential flop in a position of need.

    The Giants are lucky to have a GM who understands the game as well as Reese.  Last year, the Giants took Jason Pierre-Paul in the first round.  Defensive end was already their strongest position, but Pierre-Paul showed flashes of brilliance last year and few fans are questioning the pick.

    If the Giants picked a linebacker this year (or last) and he sat on the bench, the pick might go over better in the media, but the pick wouldn't make the Giants a better team.