2008 NFL Draft: Defense Will Be Giants' Focus

Josh NiemtzowCorrespondent IJanuary 26, 2008

The Giants overall seem to not have many holes on offense, so with their first pick at 26 they'll go defense.

Their strongest suit appears to be their defensive line led by Umenyiora and Strahan at defensive end, and Robbins at tackle.

Obviously the area of need is at secondary and Linebacker. Besides Antonio pierce, the linebacking core of the giants is very weak.

At cornerback, the Giants have Corey Webster, R.W. McQuarters and Sam Madison.  Madison at age 33 is at a point where he could be retiring within the next three years, due to being ineffective. Likewise for McQuarters, who spent his best years on the Bears and 49ers, at age 31. He seems to show signs of slowness, and is now the third cornerback on the team. 

At free safety, the Giants have Gibril Wilson who is very solid, but at strong safety, James Butler poses a potential weak spot.

An undrafted free agent in the 2005 draft, Butler became an immediate success on special teams. He recorded the second-most special teams’ tackles at 21, 19 of which were solo. Basically he should be kept, but not as the starting safety.

Here are 3 options that would most likely benefit the team the most.

1. Dan Connor- LB out of Penn State. Kawika Mitchell and Reggie Torbor are set to become unrestricted free agents.  Kiwanuka, the Giants' first-round draft choice in '06, was converted into a linebacker, but he isn't producing how they would have hoped.

Connor is a great Penn State product, winning the Chuck Bednarik award (best defensive collegiate player of the year.)  Connor also holds the record for most tackles in Penn State history.

2. Aqib Talib and Leodis Mckelvin- Kansas and Troy (in order.) Talib has great height and is a great cover corner. While McKelvin at 5-11 is a little bit shorter. But what sets McKelvin apart is his great speed. He ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard-dash, which is a great for any defensive player. He could be a plausible kick return asset for the team.

3. Kenny Phillips- Safety from Miami could be on the board at 26. Though he will unlikely be there at the time. This draft is said to have a weak class at safety. Besides Phillips, nobody at the position likely will be picked for a while.