As of mid-week, the New York Giants should enter the 2013 NFL Draft with 76 players already on their roster. Since free agency has slowed down and general manager Jerry Reese handled business in his calm, collected demeanor, quite a few conspicuous holes have been filled. While there are still some dealings to go down this offseason/free agency period, the focus has shifted full well onto the main event that is the draft.
The Giants haven’t entered a draft with a glaring need since 2004 when they held the 4th overall pick. If you don’t know what transpired that April afternoon, please ask someone. Of the following eight years (2005-2012), mostly defensive players were drafted in the first round. Wideout Hakeem Nicks (2009) and tailback David Wilson (2012) were the exceptions. Offensive lineman hasn’t been a number one pick of blue since Luke Petitgout was chosen out of Notre Dame in 1999 (funny enough, with the 19th overall pick).
If you’re looking for a trend, stop. Reese is a bit harder to figure out in his method of building a draft board than Ernie Accorsi ever was. While BPA (Best Player Available) is part of the equation, many are wrong in stating it’s the sole method. Need (especially in the first round) is most definitely factored in. Funny part about that is that most armchair general managers and coaches have no idea of the Giants’ actual need. Remember when Accorsi drafted a Troy pass rushing defensive end by the name of Osi Umenyiora and the draft “experts” scoffed at the pick? You can never have too many pass-rushers. Those experts are dropping tears in their cheap beers as Mr. Umenyiora has now signed elsewhere.
“The key to long-term success in this league is what happens at the end of every April," Mara noted. "You have to draft well."
Quite a few mock drafts have the same four names on repeat like a scratch in a record for Big Blue. Since the Giants do indeed need some assistance at the linebacker position, Alec Ogletree out of Georgia remains the pick from many gurus. Reese has been to the Pro Days, but the Giants don’t draft linebackers in the first round – well, not since 1984 when a little-known guy by the name of Carl Banks was drafted out of Michigan State. Do not expect the Manti Te’o talk to continue for blue either. It’s become passé.
Tight end Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame still rolls off the tongues of a few mockers, but Reese seems pretty high on recently-signed free agent Brandon Meyers.
“Number one, he knows how to play," Reese said (of Myers). "This guy has played quite a bit, caught 79 balls last year at Oakland, so there's not a lot of training. He's quarterback friendly. He catches 80 balls and people really don't know that much about him. We think he'll be a great piece to our offense and I think Eli will have a relationship with him really quickly."
Yeah, doesn’t sound like another offensive end-like first round pick for blue.
Offensive tackle D.J. Fluker out of Alabama is the last big name on mock-ups. If he’s there, it isn’t likely that he is more of a priority than a defensive player on the Giants board.
It’ll be another year the Giants end up going D-E-F-E-N-S-E. Just a gut…
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