New York Giants: New York Giants 2012 draft

Mara: Modell will be missed 'dearly'

September, 6, 2012
The NFL world is still reacting to the passing of Art Modell.

John Mara, Giants President and Chief Executive Officer, called Modell one of the best owners ever in the NFL -- a Hall of Fame owner.

"Art Modell was one of the greatest owners in the history of the NFL," Mara said in a statement. "He contributed in so many ways to the success of this League and he deserves a place in Canton. More importantly, he was a decent man and a great friend to my family. We will miss him dearly."

Giants chairman Steve Tisch will remember Modell's sense of humor and how he helped the Tisch family get into NFL ownership.

"Art Modell was a visionary, a deal-maker and a friend," Tisch said. "And he possessed a marvelous sense of humor. Our league and my father and our family benefitted from his great qualities and foresight. It was Art who formally introduced my father to Wellington Mara, which ultimately led to my father purchasing 50 percent of the Giants franchise. For that, and for Art's good nature, we will always be grateful."

Rookie camp preview: Adrien Robinson

May, 8, 2012
With rookie camp set to begin this weekend, we're taking a look at Scouts Inc.'s breakdown of each New York Giants' draft pick leading up to Friday's camp. I'll give you my own first-impression analysis of the guys when I see them up close this weekend.

Here's Scouts Inc.'s breakdown of fourth-round pick Adrien Robinson. Tomorrow we look at the Giants' other fourth-round pick Brandon Mosley.


What he brings: “Robinson could be a steal at this point, due to his combination of size, soft hands and top-end speed. He still needs development in terms of technique and as an in-line blocker, but has the tools to develop in those areas.” -– Scouts Inc.

How he fits: “Everybody anticipated that the Giants would address this position in the draft because of two key injuries to veterans to Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum. Though they brought in Martellus Bennett from Dallas there is no assurance they will have their guys back from injury in time for training camp. Robinson has an excellent skill set and a chance to develop, but he's not there yet. He won't add a lot in the passing game.” –- Scouts Inc.

Ohm’s take: Jerry Reese was downright giddy about landing Robinson in the fourth round, dubbing the guy the “JPP of tight ends.” The Giants believe they have a raw and athletic gem ready to be developed by tight ends guru Mike Pope. With Ballard and Beckum recovering from torn ACL injuries, Robinson should get a chance to show what he can do in camp. With Bear Pascoe possibly continuing his multi-role of blocking tight end and H-back, Christian Hopkins and Robinson could see Beckum’s snaps in the offense while Beckum rehabs. And if Robinson is truly the Jason Pierre-Paul of tight ends, he'll display flashes of his potential this season before making a major impact next season after he learns and develops in 2012.

Tell us below what you think of the Robinson pick.

Rookie camp preview: Jayron Hosley

May, 7, 2012
With rookie camp set to begin this weekend, we're taking a look at Scouts Inc.'s breakdown of each New York Giants' draft pick leading up to Friday's camp. I'll give you my own first-impression analysis of the guys when I see them up close this weekend.

Here's Scouts Inc.'s breakdown of third-round pick Jayron Hosley. Tomorrow we look at fourth-round pick Adrien Robinson.


What he brings: “Hosley's an instinctive corner that displays good, short-area quickness, and top-notch ball skills. He needs to get stronger in jump-ball situations and improve as a tackler.” –- Scouts Inc.

How he fits: “There are a lot of question marks at the corner position in this defense, although if everybody is healthy, and they play up to expectations, they're not that bad. They want to play a lot of man-to-man coverages on the backend and Hosley could contribute immediately versus multi-receiver packages as he has good instincts and ball skills.” –- Scouts Inc.

Ohm’s take: If he is indeed as tough and physical as Jerry Reese says he is and is able to learn Perry Fewell’s defense well enough, Hosley could potentially be a nickel back. We don't know if Terrell Thomas, Bruce Johnson, Brian Witherspoon, Michael Coe and Justin Tryon will return to their old form this season after suffering season-ending injuries last year. Prince Amukamara also needed an injection in his foot which was broken last year. If all goes according to plan, Corey Webster, Thomas and Amukamara will be the top three corners with Hosley challenging for the fourth or fifth spot with a crowded unit that also includes Antwaun Molden.

Hosley also could be the starting punt returner this season.

Tell us what you think about Hosley and how he'll fit in below.

Kiper and McShay on Giants draft

April, 30, 2012
ESPN NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have weighed in a bit on the Giants' draft.

Here's Kiper's grade on the Giants draft followed by McShay's impact pick and most intriguing pick.

Top needs:
Needs: B
Value: C
Overall: C+
Kiper's summary: "I had running back as the top need for the Giants, and they got one with their first pick. David Wilson should be productive, but I think they really would have preferred Doug Martin. I might have gone with an O-lineman there, but the Giants have capably kept things patched up for a couple years, and will have to continue to do so, because they didn't get a tackle until the fourth round. Brandon Mosley has a shot (he's the No. 13-ranked offensive tackle on my board), but you don't want him starting in Week 1. Rueben Randle lacks explosiveness, but he was a pretty good value as the last pick in Round 2. Clearly, the NFL thought he'd be gone far higher -- he was the last player in the green room. Jayron Hosley is a really instinctive corner, and I wouldn't have thought he'd still be around based on his sophomore year. But he regressed in 2011. He can cover, but he lacks a physical element to his game. Some helpful pieces, but Wilson needs to provide impact."

Ohm's note: GM Jerry Reese reiterated on WFAN radio on Monday that the Giants had Wilson rated higher than Martin and that they would not have selected Martin if he was available at 32.

"Absolutely without a doubt he was the number one guy," Reese said on WFAN about his top running back. "There has been some contention that Tampa moved ahead of us and took Martin. That is not true. If Wilson had been gone, there were more guys we liked at that spot. Martin would not have been our pick. He was in our conversation but he was down lower with a couple more guys we had in that spot. We liked him and think he will be a good player too but we had David Wilson ranked ahead of him."

Impact pick: WR Rueben Randle (second) -- "He's still developing as a route-runner and will never be dynamic after the catch, but Randle has great size and deceptive speed. He can be a good vertical threat and a nice complement to Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. He needs to get stronger and work hard on the finer points of receiver play, but if Randle responds well to the environment created by head coach Tom Coughlin and QB Eli Manning, he will be a big-time weapon in the passing game."

Intriguing pick: OT Brandon Mosley (fourth) -- "Mosley has only been an offensive tackle since signing with Auburn out of junior college in 2010, but he started 11 games that season during the Tigers' national title run and the arrow is pointing straight up. Mosley has good size, and the athleticism to have played tight end and defensive end in junior college. He's quick, has enormous hands to lock on to defenders, a powerful upper body and a nasty streak. There are some concerns about how quickly he can absorb an NFL playbook, but if he can push for a starting job in 2013, it would be a huge boost for a team with plenty of issues up front."

Round Pick Position Player College (Click on name for background)
(1) 32 RB David Wilson Virginia Tech
(2) 63 WR Rueben Randle LSU
(3) 94 CB Jayron Hosley Virginia Tech
(4) 127 TE Adrien Robinson Cincinnati
(4) 131 T Brandon Mosley Auburn
(6) 201 T Matt McCants UAB
(7) 239 DT Markus Kuhn North Carolina State

Giants toast of ESPN pre-draft party

April, 30, 2012
Every year during the draft, ESPN The Magazine throws a Pre-Draft party.

And like I have for the last few years, I try to give you a glimpse of what it is like inside the party. This year, the party moved to the The Waterfront.

The party is held the night before the draft and several of the first-round prospects come to celebrate just before being drafted the next day along with several NFL stars.

Diane BondareffJustin Tuck and his wife Lauran.

This year, numerous Giants came out to the party -- 23 in fact -- and were big celebs since they are Super Bowl champs.

Victor Cruz, Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck did several interviews on the red carpet before mingling with people at the party. Cruz could barely move through the crowd without being approached by friends and fans at the party.

Before entering the party, Cruz and Ramses Barden told reporters that the Giants didn’t need to go out and draft another receiver. Of course, the Giants did, taking LSU’s Rueben Randle in the second round.

JPP talked about how he understood exactly how Osi Umenyiora was feeling after Umenyiora had said earlier in the day how he did not think the Giants would be able to give him the type of contract extension he was hoping for and suggested that the Giants might want to trade him for something in return during the draft. Of course, that situation is only starting to heat up now.

“It would hurt a lot,” Pierre-Paul said if the Giants were to move Umenyiora. “All together as one, we are unstoppable. Everybody knows that.”

The Giants' tight ends Jake Ballard, Travis Beckum and Bear Pascoe all showed up together to the party. Ballard told reporters he was pretty sure the Giants were not going to draft a tight end –- Stanford’s Coby Fleener – in the first round and he was right.

Michael Boley, Martellus Bennett, Prince Amukamara, Greg Jones and Chad Jones were among the 23 Giants who attended the party which was held in a long chic warehouse tunnel filled with football players and ESPN personalities.

Everywhere you turned, there was either an NFL player or a new NFL rookie-to-be as first-round talent like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Morris Claiborne, Mark Barron and other draft prospects attended the party. There was a social media platform stage where ESPN personalities like Michael Smith and Jemele Hill chatted with party-goers.

I’ve been to the Pre-Draft party several years in a row but this one was in, by far, the biggest venue to date. And it also had the biggest crowd I've seen. I also can’t remember any of the draft parties having that many Giants in attendance. The last time I saw almost this many Giants was at the 2008 ESPN Pre-Draft party. Of course, that too was after a Super Bowl victory. It’s good to be the champs and be the toast of every party.

US Presswire, Getty ImagesAdrien Robinson and Jason Pierre-Paul
Just looking at his statistics, Cincinnati tight end Adrien Robinson didn't appear to do much offensively.

But the Giants were ecstatic to land a tight end who had a total of 12 catches for 183 yards and three touchdowns last season.

General manager Jerry Reese says Robinson is kind of like the "JPP of tight ends" in terms of raw athleticism and potential. That's high praise, considering Jason Pierre-Paul was a first-round project who emerged into a Pro Bowl defensive end in his second season.

"We really think this guy has a huge upside," Reese said. "He is a big, big man [with] long arms. He didn't catch a lot of balls for them. But he is kind of a late bloomer who has really come on. And we think this guy is kind of a JPP of tight ends. We like these kind of people."

The Giants believe the 6-4, 264-pound Robinson is full of "untapped" potential.

"He's a physical specimen," said Marc Ross, director of college scouting. "He ran a 4.5. He's just learning how to play football. We think he has tremendous upside. And the kid plays hard for being a former basketball player. Just didn't get a lot of chances. We think the sky is the limit. Coaching, the way we'll use him, I think he will just flourish."

And of course, when it comes to developing tight ends, few are better than tight ends coach Mike Pope, who has helped undrafted tight ends like Jake Ballard and Bear Pascoe emerge into starters.

"I don't know if he does the flips," head coach Tom Coughlin said of Robinson, in reference to Pierre-Paul's ability to do back flips. "He's got a lot of work to do to understand the pro game. He's athletic, a very, very athletic guy. It's all in front of him and we're anxious to get to work with him."

The Giants, of course, can use another tight end with Ballard and Travis Beckum recovering from torn ACLs suffered during the Super Bowl. They signed former Dallas tight end Martellus Bennett, another athletic, big player full of potential. And they have Pascoe and Christian Hopkins, who spent last season on the practice squad.

But the Giants brass could not contain its enthusiasm over landing Robinson in the fourth round.

"He is just a big, gigantic man with long arms," Reese explained of his JPP comparison. "He has got those freakish athletic numbers. When we got Jason we said, 'This guy hasn't scratched the surface.' And Jason still has a lot of learning to do [and] continuing to grow. This kid [Robinson] hasn't scratched the surface yet. He has a chance to be really something, we think."

Rapid Reaction: Giants draft a DT

April, 28, 2012
PLAYER: Markus Kuhn
SCHOOL: North Carolina State

The Giants used their final pick in the draft on a raw but powerful defensive tackle from Germany. Kuhn, 25, is still learning the game but the Giants like his energy, size, strength and ability to move.

THE 411: Kuhn, who is from Weinheim, Germany, had 45 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season for the Wolfpack. Tom Coughlin said the Giants evaluated Kuhn "at a high level" and that they liked his gym numbers. Coughlin called Kuhn a "physical player, penetrator, still learning the game."

HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants have Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, Marvin Austin, the recently signed Shaun Rogers, Dwayne Hendricks and Martin Parker at defensive tackle.

PROJECTED IMPACT: Kuhn will provide depth and may have to fight for a spot on the roster. But the Giants are high on his motor and raw ability.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Jerry Reese likened Kuhn to the Giants' energetic guard Mitch Petrus in attitude and effort.

"Gym rat, big, strong, tough," Reese said. "Great to put in your D-line rotation. Still learning. He is the Mitch Petrus of defensive tackles. … He is like a buzz saw."

Rapid Reaction: Giants draft a left tackle

April, 28, 2012
PLAYER: Matt McCants
SCHOOL: University of Alabama at Birmingham
POSITION: Offensive tackle

The Giants went with another offensive tackle in the draft by taking McCants. The 6-5 UAB product is a left tackle and will add depth to the Giants' offensive line.

THE 411: McCants is considered tall and a little lean with room to add bulk. He started at left tackle for UAB. He missed all of the 2008 season after being ruled academically ineligible.

According to Scouts Inc., McCants is "long and quick enough to take away the edge. Strong for size and can hold ground when beats defender to the top of drop but can give too much ground when defenders get under him before he gets set. Moves well laterally and can improve with better technique but narrow base and inability to sink hinders ability to redirect quickly at this point.

"Lack of experience at high school level and academic problems raise concerns here. Can pick up line stunts but inconsistent in this area. Appeared to have some problems locating assignments at the second level. Can over-commit to defender and get caught out of position as a zone blocker. Flashes nasty disposition. More of a finesse wall-off blocker than a mauler. Not violent or aggressive enough at the second level."

HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants' offensive line room is getting crowded. They already have Will Beatty at left tackle. David Diehl can play left tackle and left guard but could potentially move to right tackle. The Giants have a bunch of tackles right now with James Brewer, Sean Locklear and Auburn’s Brandon Mosley, who was taken in the fourth round.

PROJECTED IMPACT: McCants could provide the team with depth this season at left tackle. Beatty is entering the final year of his deal so the Giants might be looking for a left tackle next season.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: General manager Jerry Reese said McCants is a kid they want to develop and could perhaps be a starter for them in the future.

"Really a pleasant surprise when you watch him," Reese said. "He is intriguing. Long, 36-inch arms. He is 315 now and I think he will be 325 pounds in a blink. Very interesting prospect for us. I think in a year or so he can make some headway and start challenging for a spot in our starting lineup. I think he is going to be that kind of player for us."

Hosley ready to repay Giants' trust

April, 28, 2012
Jayron Hosley regrets failing a drug test at the scouting combine in February and says all that is behind him as he embarks on his pro career with the New York Giants.

"I definitely regret it," said Hosley, 21. "But it's something that's in the past and behind me. I'm working toward bettering myself and not letting something like this happen again ever. They trusted me and I'm thankful for that and I want to make this a worthy decision."

Hosley, a third-round pick, believes he is a great fit with his new team. He agreed with Jerry Reese's comparison to Adam "Pacman" Jones' skills on the field.

"Pacman Jones is a tremendous player, minus the off-field stuff," Hosley said. "But he's a tremendous player. When you watch him on film he's very sound in his technique. He's aggressive, a smaller guy like me. I kind of favor that. I think that’s a good comparison. I like to compare myself to Asante Samuel, Pacman, Brandon Flowers. But I think that’s a very good comparison."

Hosley is excited to continue playing with Virginia Tech teammate and college roommate, David Wilson. Hosley told reporters that the Giants' first-round pick is quick enough to chase rabbits.

"You probably heard 'em all," Hosley said of stories about the personable Wilson. "David chasing rabbits, just catching a rabbit off campus. Just a wild guy. You never know what to expect coming from David, man. He's just a guy that has a lot of energy, always running around. He's definitely a fun person."

When asked what Wilson did once he caught a rabbit, Hosley said, "He just touched it."

"He just wanted to see if he could touch it cause you know the rabbit's very quick," he added. "He just touched it and that's basically it."

Rapid Reaction: Giants draft right tackle

April, 28, 2012
PLAYER: Brandon Mosley
SCHOOL: Auburn

The Giants addressed another need by taking a right tackle with their second pick of the fourth round.

Mosley is a versatile athlete and gives the Giants depth and perhaps another option to consider at right tackle. He can play guard as well and has a gritty, old-fashioned attitude that the Giants love in their linemen.

THE 411: Mosley is a former tight end and defensive end who went from 270 pounds to 318 pounds in two seasons. The former JUCO player actually caught 12 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns while recording 35 tackles and a blocked kick while at Coffeyville Junior College.

Mosley started 13 games at right tackle for Auburn and earned second-team All SEC honors. He has 24 starts at right tackle during his time at Auburn.

Scouts Inc. says: "Protects the edge well. Arms are long enough to make it tough for edge rushers to turn the corner. Powerful punch that knocks edge rushers off course. Above-average athlete who flashes the ability to redirect quickly when footwork is sound but footwork is inconsistent. Can give too much ground to power rushers.

"Drives legs and flashes the ability to move defenders off the ball. Strong up top. Locks on and controls defenders when he gets his hands on them. However, pad level is a concern and can get stood up in the hole when doesn't stay low."

HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants are looking for a new starter at right tackle with Kareem McKenzie gone. David Diehl could potentially move from the left side and start at RT. James Brewer, last year's fourth-round pick, and Sean Locklear could also be in the mix at RT. But Mosley can play guard as well.

PROJECTED IMPACT: Perhaps Mosley could compete for RT in camp. But he sounds more like an offensive lineman who gives the Giants options at tackle and guard and competes for a starting spot in the future.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "Big, tough, smart... just like we like in our offensive line room," GM Jerry Reese said. "He reminds us somewhat of David Diehl. This guy has a good concept. He understands [and] knows how to play. We think he is going to be a good addition. We think he could go in there and play some guard as well if we needed him to play some guard. But he is an offensive tackle."

Rapid Reaction: Giants draft a tight end

April, 28, 2012
PLAYER: Adrien Robinson
SCHOOL: Cincinnati

The Giants continued to add to the offense and address needs in the draft by taking a tight end with their first pick of the fourth round. Robinson doesn't have a ton of production to go off from his four years, but the Giants are drooling over his athletic and "untapped" potential. Jerry Reese said Robinson is kind of like the "JPP of tight ends." And the Giants and TE coach Mike Pope are among the best at developing tight ends.

THE 411: There isn't a lot of production to go off of from his college career as Robinson had a total of 12 receptions for 183 yards and three touchdowns in 2011. He has a total of 29 catches for his career at Cincinnati in four years. Robinson is a former high school basketball player according to Marc Ross, Giants director of college scouting.

The Stats Inc. scouting report has this on Robinson: "Above-average athlete but needs polish with routes. Possesses the top-end speed to run away from defenders with flag, seam and crossing routes. Has the experience and is effective lining up flexed out. Possesses long arms and a big frame that provides him with a wide catching radius.

"Soft hands and catch the ball naturally away from his body. Underrated athlete that has above-average body control to adjust to throws outside of strike zone. Possesses the initial burst and top-end speed to stretch the middle of the field and factor in down the deep seams. Flashes a competitive edge and not afraid to mix it up. Could do a better job of sustaining blocks but effort is not the issue."

HOW HE FITS IN: Gives the Giants another healthy body at tight end. The Giants signed former Cowboys TE Martellus Bennett in free agency. They still have the versatile Bear Pascoe and they are high on Christian Hopkins, who was on the practice squad last year. Travis Beckum is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl and optimistically is hoping to return near the start of the season. Jake Ballard may not return until the middle of the season, if at all, from ACL and microfracture surgery.

PROJECTED IMPACT: Pope is perhaps the best in the business at developing tight ends. Look at what he did with Ballard. Robinson could be somebody they develop for next season, but at best he may give the Giants another athletic and big tight end to use this season. Bottom line, he helps with depth at the very least but the Giants are incredibly high on this kid.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: “We really think this guy has a huge upside,” Reese said. “He is a big, big man [with] long arms. He didn’t catch a lot of balls for them. But he is kind of a late bloomer who has really come on. And we think this guy is kind of a ‘JPP’ of tight ends. We like these kind of people.”

"He is just a big, gigantic man with long arms,” Reese explained of his JPP comparison. “He has got those freakish athletic numbers. When we got Jason [Pierre-Paul] we said, ‘This guy hasn’t scratched the surface.’ And Jason still has a lot of learning to do [and] continuing to grow. This kid [Robinson] hasn’t scratched the surface yet. He has a chance to be really something, we think.”

Rapid reaction: Giants take CB Hosley

April, 27, 2012
PLAYER: Jayron Hosley
SCHOOL: Virginia Tech
POSITION: Cornerback
HEIGHT: 5-10

For the second time in their top three picks, the Giants drafted a Virginia Tech prospect, selecting cornerback Jayron Hosley in the third round. Hosley joins former teammate, running back David Wilson, who was taken in the first round.

The Giants are high on Hosley’s physical and athletic play and also like his 4.43 speed and ability to return punts –- an area where the Giants badly need to upgrade at.

Hosley did fail a drug test at the scouting combine but the Giants investigated it and feel they got a cornerback who can help them.

"He did fail the test in Indianapolis," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We’re very much aware of that and we’ve addressed that with him and we’re prepared to address that professionally as well when we do get him here."

THE 411: Hosley led the nation in interceptions with nine in 2010 but saw his production dip to three picks last season as a junior. Coughlin believes opposing quarterbacks steered clear of Hosley after his big 2010 season. The 5-10 cornerback is a physical defensive back who is athletic and also finished 11th in the country last season in punt returns with a 12.67 average.

Hosley did fail a drug test, testing positive for marijuana use at the scouting combine according to He also dealt with hamstring and concussion issues last season but the Giants medical staff looked at him and gave him a good grade.

HOW HE FITS IN: Hosley joins a crowded secondary but one that has numerous cornerbacks returning from season-ending injuries last season. The Giants could actually use another cornerback with only Corey Webster, Terrel Thomas and Prince Amukamara under contract past this season. The rest of the corners are on one-year deals.

Hosley also improves the Giants’ return game. He is considered to be a better punt returner than kickoff returner. Hosley has only returned 10 kickoffs but did average 21.1 yards on nine kickoff returns in 2010.

PROJECTED IMPACT: Hosley will compete to be a nickel back this season and could potentially become the team’s starter at punt returner. Hosley provides the team with depth at corner and a little insurance in case Thomas struggles to return from last year’s ACL injury and Amukamara suffers any kind of setback with his foot. If all goes well, though, the Giants should have Webster and Thomas as the two starting corners and Amukamara as the third corner. Hosley could compete to be the fourth corner on the team.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: “He is not a big man but this guy has athletic arrogance and plays like a big guy,” general manager Jerry Reese said. “He kind of reminds me of Adam Jones, he plays kind of like that. He runs like a little linebacker. He has outstanding cover skills. We expect him to be in our nickel package and the bonus is he returns punts and kicks. He has a lot of good qualities that we like.”

Day Two: What to watch for

April, 27, 2012
Now that the Giants have taken care of running back, Jerry Reese prepares for the second and third rounds with a few more needs still left to be addressed.

There are plenty of good players left on the board but how many will be there when the Giants pick 63rd overall in the second round and 94th overall in the third round? And will the Giants go best player available or lean toward a need like they did in the first round with Virginia Tech running back David Wilson.

They could potentially go for an offensive lineman (specifically a right tackle) and wide receiver tonight. Personally, I'd like to see both of those positions addressed in the draft. Defensive back, tight end and defensive end are other areas where they can use some more depth.

The Giants passed on taking Georgia tackle Cordy Glenn at 32 but he should be long gone by the time the Giants pick. Same might be said for Stanford's Jonathan Martin, Ole Miss' Bobby Massie and Ohio State's Mike Adams. Cal's Mitchell Schwartz is also among the best tackles left.

The Giants also passed on Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill at 32. He should go pretty quickly tonight in the second round. LSU WR Rueben Randle, South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery and Rutgers' Mohamed Sanu could be gone by the time the Giants pick at 63. But there are still plenty of intriguing receivers that the Giants could go for in the second or third round. Appalachian State's Brian Quick, Arkansas' Joe Adams (who can return punts too) and Michigan State's Keshawn Martin (who also is a good returner) are possible Day Two receivers. The Giants can use a receiver to potentially compete for the third receiver opening and for depth.

No tight ends were drafted in the first round. So Stanford's Coby Fleener will be drafted in the second round and Clemson's Dwayne Allen could also be gone by the time the Giants pick at 63.

I would not mind seeing the Giants add a defensive end with uncertainty surrounding Osi Umenyiora's future and Mathias Kiwanuka entering the final year of his deal. Dave Tollefson also left in free agency as well.

Upshaw, Clemson's Andre Branch and Marshall's Vinny Curry are among the defensive ends still available but they too could likely be gone by the time the Giants pick in the second round.

What do you guys want in the second round? Judging from what some of you have told me on Twitter, many of you want the Giants to trade up in the second round.
It’ll be a long and intriguing wait for the Giants before they finally pick at 32 barring a trade.

So much can happen before they pick and so many people can go off their board. The Giants are interested in Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones, Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus, North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower. If all of those players are gone by 32, indications are the Giants will go wide receiver and they like Georgia Tech wideout Stephen Hill and LSU receiver Rueben Randle. One other name possibly to consider is Virginia Tech running back David Wilson.

Hill said the Giants recently contacted him for his phone number, presumably for draft day.

“It would be great playing with other wide receivers and taking pressure off them with double coverage,” Hill said of potentially joining Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. “I am a team player so any time I can contribute to the team that is a big thing.”

Hill might not be there at 32 when the Giants pick but Randle could be available. He said he talked with the Giants during the beginning of the scouting process.

“I’ve talked to the Giants and they got some information on me,” Randle said on Wednesday at a NFL Play 60 event in the city. “They were one of the first teams that contacted me.”

“It would be a great situation for me,” he added of the Giants.

Drafting a receiver like Randle would help the Giants try to replace Mario Manningham and the void at third receiver.

Cruz and Ramses Barden believe the Giants already have enough at receiver. But if the Giants do draft another wideout, Cruz doesn’t expect it to change his role much and his time spent in the slot.

“I have gotten comfortable with it throughout the year and that is my position,” Cruz said on Wednesday night at the ESPN Magazine pre-draft party. “So I think whenever we go third down and three-receiver sets, I will be in that slot position for sure.”

This season is Barden’s best opportunity to show the Giants what he can do with more playing time. The 2009 third-round pick has terrific size and good hands but hasn’t received much of an opportunity either due to the depth chart or injuries.

He is expected to compete for the third receiver spot with Jerrel Jernigan and Domenik Hixon. This could be Barden’s last chance to show what he’s got.

“Maybe, probably, I don’t know,” Barden said when asked if the clock is ticking on him. “It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. The only thing that matters is what I do come game time. Whether there is pressure or there is not, I am beyond that right now. It is time for the next step. I can’t get to the season fast enough.”

Giants draft: What to watch for

April, 26, 2012
Draft day is finally here. Soon the unpredictable will happen and the draft madness will begin tonight.

It’s hard to say what will happen by the time the Giants pick at 32 late tonight but here’s three things to potentially look for:

1. #32: The Giants would probably be thrilled if someone like North Carolina DE Quinton Coples, Syracuse DE Chandler Jones, Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus, Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick and Alabama LB Dont’a Hightower were to fall to 32. Same for Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill. All those guys are on the Giants’ wish list.

But all those guys, based on many projections, are not expected to be there when the Giants are on the clock. My guess is if all those guys are gone, the Giants could tab LSU WR Rueben Randle. Indications are the Giants are looking at wide receiver if the players mentioned earlier above are not available. Randle is a player the Giants have discussed.

Randle was my first pick in my seven-round mock draft which, again, is like throwing darts while blindfolded. In doing that mock, I didn't pick based on guys I think the Giants should take. I tried to draft based on what I think the Giants might take. And so many times, there would be a player I wanted to give to the Giants but I often kept thinking that player wouldn't be there when the Giants selected late in each round. So I tried to pick based on that. Could I have picked guys I personally wanted for them in each round? Yes. But I tried to project who was going to go ahead of them in each round. It’s impossible to know though.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Giants take a running back, offensive lineman and wide receiver somewhere in the first four rounds. I'd love to see a Boise State RB Doug Martin or Stanford TE Coby Fleener to the Giants in the first round. But I also know the Giants don’t always draft for need.

That's why in the Sports Center mock draft I did with other writers around the country on Wednesday, I picked Clemson DE Andre Branch with Coples, Jones, Mercilus, Kirkpatrick, Hightower, Hill and Randle all off the board already. If it had been my pick on what I would have wanted, I would have gone with Martin, Fleener or Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy based on what was available at the time.

2. THE NEEDS: Jerry Reese always says he will go for the best player available. But the Giants could use a running back to replace Brandon Jacobs, an offensive lineman (free agent right tackle Kareem McKenzie isn’t expected back) to get younger and more athletic on the line, a wide receiver to help replace Mario Manningham and a defensive end for depth and down the road with so much uncertainty surrounding Osi Umenyiora. By the way, my guess is Umenyiora remains a Giant after the draft. Just my guess.

Tight end, defensive back for depth and future and a returner are also on my wish list for the Super Bowl champs.

Reese always keeps an eye toward the future and his salary cap situation so keep that in mind when he makes picks this weekend.

3. PASSING ON TIGHT END FIRST: All indications I’ve gotten are that the Giants likely will not take a tight end in the first round. A popular pick for the Giants by many is Fleener. He certainly would seem to provide Eli Manning with a fine receiving target and Fleener said on Wednesday that he had been in touch with tight ends coach Mike Pope but nothing recently.

I’ve also heard that the Giants are likely to pass on a running back at 32 either. Personally, Martin intrigues me and the idea of having a running back who has drawn some comparisons to Ray Rice in the Giants offense appeals to me. But Reese and the Giants are some of the best drafters in the league so we’ll see if and where they go for a running back in this draft.

In the meantime, tell us below who you guys want the Giants to pick tonight. Good luck!