Monday, April 15, 2013
Giants draft preview: Offense
By Ohm Youngmisuk
If D.J. Fluker is on the board at No. 19, the Giants would have to consider the Alabama tackle.
At times, the Giants' offense was explosive in 2012.
Eli Manning and the offense scored 429 points, the second-most in franchise history. But the offense was too inconsistent and it seemed like the points came in bunches. And when the offense desperately needed to come to life, it vanished down the stretch with the playoffs on the line.
The core of the offense remains intact with Manning looking to lead the Giants on another Super Bowl run. Remaining healthy –- namely Hakeem Nicks -- will be key for 2013. But co-owner John Mara would like to see his team improve its toughness on the front line and see his offensive line get stronger and nastier.
That is why the Giants very well could spend a high draft pick on an offensive lineman. Starting at 19th overall, the Giants could take a long look at Alabama guard Chance Warmack or offensive tackle D.J. Fluker if one of them is still there when Jerry Reese is on the clock.
Reese accomplished two of his biggest goals by re-signing left tackle Will Beatty and left guard Kevin Boothe in the offseason. And he was able to work out a pay cut with David Diehl to help the Giants' salary cap and maintain depth.
But the Giants can still use a young offensive lineman for depth and to perhaps compete for the right tackle spot (where Diehl and James Brewer will compete) this season. The bigger concern, though, is for the future with Boothe's and Diehl's contracts expiring after this season.
At running back, the Giants released Ahmad Bradshaw and it remains to be seen how that will impact the offense since Bradshaw was an inspiring spark for the team. The explosive David Wilson will finally get a chance to show what he can do with more carries, but Andre Brown will also be a factor as the two backs could share carries.
The Giants hope to have a healthy Nicks, whose injuries last year severely impacted the offense and its big-play ability. Victor Cruz, a restricted free agent, could play this season on a one-year tender if the Giants are unable to work out a long-term extension. And Tom Coughlin hopes last year's second-round pick, Rueben Randle, emerges as Manning's third receiver.
Even though the Giants are set at receiver for this season, they want to lock down Nicks and Cruz to long-term extensions. So perhaps they could look at a receiver in the draft to provide insurance for the future, add depth and potentially help the team on kickoff and punt returns.
Martellus Bennett left in free agency for Chicago, but the Giants replaced the Black Unicorn with Brandon Myers, a receiving threat. Reese would also like to see what last year's fourth-round pick, Adrien Robinson, can do with some snaps as well. Still, the Giants could potentially look at a tight end in the mid-to-late rounds.
The Giants offense doesn't need an overhaul. Reese can look to fortify his offensive line a bit more for the present and future and perhaps add another speedy weapon or two for Manning in next week's draft.
Always keep in mind that Reese and his brain trust draft players with an eye toward the future and filling roles and spots for the upcoming seasons.