New York Giants: 5 Draft Prospects That Could Get Giants to the Playoffs in 2012
To secure a playoff berth, the Giants must beat the Jets on Sunday and then beat the Cowboys in the final week of the season to enter the playoffs at 9-7 atop the NFC East. However, with the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles all fighting for the division, there is a good chance the Giants will be watching the playoffs from home.
If the Giants want to avoid this kind of scenario next year, they will need to bring in a lot of talent this offseason. This slideshow presents five players that the Giants could draft to make the road to the playoffs a much easier one.
Mike Adams, OT
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The Giants desperately need an offensive tackle right now. David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie are both becoming much too old to keep up with the league's better pass-rushers (quite a problem considering the Giants play DeMarcus Ware, Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo twice a year), and New York needs to draft young players to come in and relieve them.
At 6'8" and 320 pounds, Mike Adams is an ideal size for a left or right tackle. His footwork and pass-blocking are his best assets, which also makes him an ideal player for the Giants to pick up in the first round because they desperately need a tackle who can keep Eli Manning safe.
Though Adams needs to work on his run blocking, if the Giants can pick him up, it would provide stability and a young franchise tackle to the offensive line, leaving Manning more free to make plays and carry New York to the playoffs.
Barrett Jones, OT
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If all the first-round-caliber offensive linemen are taken by the time the Giants get to pick, they can always draft for another position and pick up Barrett Jones out of Alabama in the second round.
Jones is a great second-round talent at offensive line because, while he isn't as elite of a prospect as Jonathan Martin or Matt Kalil, he is still very athletic and has played both guard and tackle effectively during his college career.
Jones has been the anchor of an Alabama offense that was second overall in total offensive yards this season, and he has been a rock-solid pass-blocker. Along with Mike Adams, his run-blocking could use some work, but Jones would be well worth a second-round pick for New York if he was still on the board.
Zach Brown, OLB
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Zach Brown is a freak and is a great fit for New York. The Giants love drafting players that are exceptional athletes, and Brown fits that bill.
Brown sacrifices some of his size for speed (he stands at 6'2" and 230 pounds), but he has been clocked running a 4.42 40-yard dash, showing that he will easily be able to defend from sideline to sideline in the NFL.
Brown's quickness and speed also come at the expense of his strength, meaning, if he gets caught by a lineman while rushing the passer, he will have a hard time getting away. But he could still be a devastating edge rusher and has proven to be a dominant run defender.
Brown's smaller stature, combined with his speed, could be a perfect complement to Mathias Kiwanuka's opposite playing style, and he could definitely fill a hole at outside linebacker, which is one of the main reasons the Giants are fighting for their playoff lives right now.
Chris Polk, RB
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Chris Polk is definitely one of the better backs in college football. For three straight seasons, he has tallied 1,000 rushing yards with Washington and is known for being a bruiser who can grind out tough yards.
At 5'11" and 222 pounds, Polk possesses ideal size for an NFL running back, and he projects to be taken around the third round of the draft.
Though Polk is known for his toughness and bruising running style, he also possesses above-average quickness that allows him to take defenders by surprise and avoid tacklers to gain extra yards.
Though Polk lacks elite speed and explosiveness, he could perfectly complement Ahmad Bradshaw in New York's rushing attack with Brandon Jacobs likely leaving. New York will have to get its running game in order next year, and Polk could be both a great addition to the backfield and a great way to keep DJ Ware and Da'Rel Scott off the field.
Dwayne Allen, TE
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Jake Ballard is definitely a valuable asset to the Giants offense, and he is already a fan-favorite, but the Giants lack depth at tight end with Travis Beckum and Bear Pascoe backing up Ballard.
Dwayne Allen from Clemson is a big target at 6'4" and 255 pounds, and he has very reliable hands, though he has been known to occasionally drop easy passes.
Allen may be most valuable to the Giants for his skills as a blocker. He excels at run-blocking, and if he is drafted by New York, he will be the best blocking tight end on their roster. Ballard will most likely thrive more in the passing game than Allen, but Allen can be used in two tight end sets, red-zone situations and even as a fullback when the Giants run the ball.
Adding a sure-handed tight end who can go up and get the ball while still being able to block effectively would be a huge plus for New York, seeing as they need a complete package tight end on their roster. Allen is projected to go in the middle of the second round, and the Giants would be wise not to pass him up.