It's the age old debate when it comes to the NFL draft – positional need versus drafting the best player available at your selection. If you ask some of the top GM's around the National Football League the question, they'll tell you it's a combination of both. As toward leaning a little more in one direction than another – that just comes down to the drafting style of the individual making the final call on a draft pick.
Looking at the New York Giants roster specifically, there really are not very many glaring weaknesses, as the team has a very impressive balance of talent across the board. New York wasn't far from contention last season, and played at a high level on both sides of the football. The problem came in their turnovers and most times they found themselves their biggest enemy.
The Giants have already been linked to linebacker Akeem Ayers of UCLA and interior offensive lineman Mike Pouncey of Florida, which is certainly understandable as their needs in those areas are clear.Today, we look at the positions the Giants can look at drafting in the first round that not only address their "need" positions, but also the positions that may have the best value at that 19th pick of the first round.
Looking at the Giants cornerback unit, there is a group of strong, physical corners who come up and support the run, and play a very in your face brand of football. What the unit lacks however, is a true cover corner, as well as real depth in the unit. New York's coverage deficiencies were exposed by teams like Indianapolis and Green Bay last season.
You've heard all the talk about Patrick Peterson out of LSU and Prince Amukamara of Nebraska, and while both will likely be going in the top 10, they aren't the only top-25 caliber cornerback prospects in this years draft. Brandon Harris of Miami could be a dark horse option for the G-Men with his impressive man to man coverage skills, to go along with his top-notch athleticism and physical approach to the game.
Expect to see a lot of defensive linemen drafted in the first round of this years draft, and with good reason. If Barry Cofield's price tag is out of the Giants range (which is rumored to be the case), this unit becomes more of an issue for this Giants team, as Cofield was their most consistent defensive tackle in 2010.
Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley make the noise at the head of the class, but Corey Liuget of Illinois, Muhammad Wilkerson of Temple, and Stephen Paea of Oregon State have all had first round buzz. Liuget's active motor and ability to create pressure on the quarterback could lead to him being selected in the top 20 on draft day.
While there isn't a player in this years draft agreed upon as a true franchise NFL left tackle prospect, there are several tackles expected to go in the 15-32 range of picks including Tyron Smith of USC and Anthony Castonzo of Boston College.
The Giants have a pair of slightly above average bookends in David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie, and a solid young tackle prospect in William Beatty who has been progressively improving over his first two seasons with the team. Offensive lineman Rich Seubert has also proved capable of handling the tackle position when he was shifted outside due to injuries across the Giants line. All that being said, the Giants are getting up there in age at tackle and could look to groom a top young talent at this position.2011 NFL Draft, Akeem Ayers, Anthony Castonzo, Football, Mike Pouncey, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Nick Fairley, Stephen Paea, Tyron Smith
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