General manager Jerry Reese thinks that linebacker help may already be on his roster.
As the Giants enter the draft, linebacker is an area of need. The team can use an impact linebacker and Reese thinks Clint Sintim needs to step up and possibly become that kind of player.
Reese would like to see Sintim become the physical playmaker he thought the linebacker could be when he invested a second-round pick in him in 2009.
“I think he can do all of that,” Reese said in his pre-draft press conference on Thursday. “I think it is about growing up for him. I think he needs to grow up and play like a second-round player that we think he is and give us that value and step in there and show us that he can be a starter for us and play quality football for us.”
The Giants select 19th overall and there likely will not be an impact linebacker available at that point in the first round.
Sintim isn’t the only linebacker on the roster that Reese would like to see more from. He drafted Phillip Dillard and Adrian Tracy last year and both linebackers are still unproven commodities. Dillard was largely a special teams player and Tracy landed on the injured reserve before the season began.
“We have a couple of guys that we really don’t know a lot about,” Reese said. “Phillip Dillard didn’t play a lot and Adrian Tracy dislocated his elbow. Those two guys –- we want to see what those guys can do."
"(Sintim) hasn’t played a lot and he got injured. So that has hampered our evaluation of him. But we picked him in the second round. We expect this guy to be an impact player for us. And right now he hasn’t been able to do that yet. He flashed a little bit as a rookie. But last year he didn’t get to play a lot because he was injured. So we are hoping that he can come back from his injury and look like a second round pick.”
Of course, Sintim had an opportunity to win a starting spot in camp but could not beat out Keith Bulluck. He played in 13 games last year, mostly on special teams, before tearing his ACL.
Still, Reese said Sintim “really didn’t get a shot” to show what he can do.
“You can say he had a shot but he wasn’t out there,” Reese said when asked about Sintim having a shot to win a job in camp. “So I don’t know if he had a shot or not.”
BARDEN AND BEATTY
Reese also mentioned wide receiver Ramses Barden and offensive tackle William Beatty as two other players he wants to see step up in 2011.
“Ramses Barden is another guy that we think that has a tremendous skill set that we want to come in and contribute to our team,” Reese said. “Those guys –- we expect to play. Will Beatty, those kinds of guys. You spend high draft picks on guys, you expect them to play. And so we expect those kids to step up and play like the players we think they are.”