It's the eve of the 2013 NFL Draft, and defense seems to be on the mind of the New York Giants. It's a unit that struggled in 2012 and one that needs major improvement after a disappointing 9-7 season.
One of the needs the Giants have to make is to their defensive line, especially since not one of their players had double-digit sacks, which was a shock considering it's a group that is considered to be one of the best in the NFL. And a name that many are familiar with is Bjoern Werner from Florida State. However, the Giants have also had interest in Werner's teammate, Cornelius "Tank" Carradine.
Carradine isn't the top defensive lineman on the board when the draft starts Thursday night, but the Giants see a lot of upside in him. Some teams weren't so high on him after he suffered a torn ACL. He was able to work out for teams and show that he's recovered from the drastic injury.
DraftInsider.net reports the Giants are currently one of four teams that have strong interest in Tank Carradine, with the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings also interested in him as well.
We’ll have more on this in the coming days but right now the top suitors for Cornellius Carradine of Florida State are the Miami Dolphins (12th selection), the New York Giants (19) and Minnesota Vikings (23 & 25). Carradine has had a lot of recent contact with Miami and if the Dolphins agree to terms with offensive tackle Brandon Albert, he becomes a real possibility with the 12th selection (Miami could grab a cornerback/tight end in rounds two and/or three). I was told at the Senior Bowl the Giants, who’ve also had a lot of one-on-one contact with Carradine the past week, rated the Florida State senior as one of the best defensive ends in the draft prior to his injury. The fit with the Vikings makes sense considering several of their defensive ends are entering the final year of contracts. The Atlanta Falcons are also in the mix for Carradine.
Draft Insider said that the Giants have had one-on-one contact with Carradine over the past week and have ranked him as one of the top defensive players in the upcoming draft. However, the Dolphins have also had strong interest in Carradine too, and could look to draft him at the number 12 spot, which might take the Giants, Falcons and Vikings out of the running for him if Miami decides to snag him up.
In his senior year, Carradine started 12 games in place of Brandon Jenkins and was able to record 11 sacks before he went down with the ACL in the Seminoles' final game against Florida.
But with Osi Umenyiora's departure to the Atlanta Falcons and Justin Tuck in a make-or-break and the team likely keeping Mathias Kiwanuka in his "joker" role, the team still has a need to inject some youth to the defensive line, which makes it no shock that Carradine is on the Giants radar. He's an explosive end who has a great first step and creates a mismatch against offensive lineman or tight ends who try to stop him.
So despite a devastating injury that ended his senior year, Carradine should be able to find a team willing to take him on Thursday night. But the question is, will he still be there when the Giants are picking at number 19?
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