New York Giants: NFL Draft 2012

Draft preview: Running back

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
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This is the second installment in a nine-part series that will analyze the Giants' needs, position by position, in the upcoming draft.

Position: Running back.

Depth chart: Ahmad Bradshaw, D.J. Ware, Da’Rel Scott, Andre Brown, Henry Hynoski.

Not under contract: None.

Scouting report: The running game is coming off a season in which it finished last in the league in the regular season with 1,427 yards. And there’s uncertainty surrounding the Giants running game now with the departure of Brandon Jacobs and Brown’s four-game suspension. Bradshaw is currently recovering from an injection into his ankle to help a fracture heal. He says he is ready to carry a bigger load with Jacobs gone but he also is running on surgically repaired feet and ankles. Ware has seen sporadic time as the third-down back and has been used on draws and screens out of the backfield. Scott has flashed his serious speed in preseason action but has to earn the trust of the coaching staff and show he is ready for some meaningful carries. Unlike last year due to the lockout, Scott will have an entire offseason to work with the coaching staff and veterans this year. Hopefully, Scott will get ample opportunities in camp and the preseason to show what he is capable of. The Giants like Brown but the former fourth-round pick will have to sit out the first four games after violating league policy on performance enhancing substances.

The Giants could use another running back in the case Ware and Scott are not ready to assume a bigger role. At the very least, they can use another back for depth and to groom for the future. Also, the team has to be wary of Bradshaw’s feet acting up again. Tom Coughlin said in February that he likes the formula he had with Bradshaw and Jacobs so ideally the Giants could use a power back but there aren't any 6-4, 265-pound backs readily available. Hynoski should only get better at fullback with more experience and flashed some ability to catch out of the backfield as well late in the season.

The Last Time: The Giants last drafted a running back in 2011 when they selected Scott in the seventh round.

Potential targets: The Giants haven’t spent more than a fourth-round pick on a running back since 2000 when they took Ron Dayne in the first round. Since then, the Giants have taken Jacobs and Brown with fourth-round picks and found Bradshaw and Scott in the seventh round. Jerry Reese might not use his first-round pick on a running back but ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay believes there are quality running backs that will go in the second round (click on the names to see Scouts Inc.'s breakdown of each running back). Boise State’s Doug Martin, Miami's Lamar Miller, Virginia Tech’s David Wilson and Oregon’s Lamichael James all could be drafted in the second round although they could also all be gone by the time the Giants pick last in that round.

After that group, ESPN’s Scouts Inc. ranks Cincinnati’s Isaiah Pead, Washington’s Chris Polk, Temple’s Bernard Pierce and Michigan State’s Edwin Baker in the top 120 overall prospects. The Giants typically go best player available but this is one of their biggest areas of need in the draft.

According to ProFootballTalk.com, the Giants have brought in Texas A&M's Cyrus Gray and Utah State's Michael Smith.

Need Rating (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being of highest importance): 8.

Next: WR.

Draft preview: Quarterback

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
9:00
AM ET
This is the first installment in a nine-part series that will analyze the Giants' needs, position by position, in the upcoming draft.

Position: Quarterback.

Depth chart: Eli Manning, David Carr, Ryan Perrilloux.

Not under contract: None.

Scouting report: Manning is coming off the finest season of his career and he no longer has to convince anyone that he is an elite quarterback. He earned Super Bowl MVP honors for the second time since 2007 and is in the prime of his career. Not only did he cut down on his interceptions from a career-high 25 the season before but he also made players around him better. He helped develop undrafted players like Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard into major contributors. He shined behind a new center (David Baas), new left tackle (Will Beatty) and new left guard (David Diehl). When injuries hit the line, Manning and the Giants’ offense still clicked.

And Manning enjoyed his best season without much of a running game. This season, Manning will have a new right tackle with Kareem McKenzie not expected to return. He also will have to work with a new third receiver with Mario Manningham gone and a new tight end in Martellus Bennett. The running game also will be different without Brandon Jacobs. But Manning will have an entire offseason to work on everything with his receivers and coaches unlike last year due to the lockout. If Manning were to ever get hurt, Carr provides the Giants with an experienced backup. The former No. 1 overall pick also is an asset on the scouting team. The Giants liked Perrilloux enough to sign him back to the practice squad so many times that everyone lost track last season.

The Last Time: The Giants last drafted a quarterback in 2009 when they selected Rhett Bomar out of Sam Houston State in the fifth round.

Potential targets: The Giants obviously do not have a need at quarterback other than to potentially develop one for the future. They clearly like Perrilloux’s physical talents. But if the Giants were to consider a developmental quarterback late in the draft, there are quarterbacks like Chattanooga’s B.J. Coleman, Oregon’s Darron Thomas, LSU’s Jordan Jefferson and Monmouth’s Alex Tanney. The Giants have reportedly had Hampton’s David Legree, Tennessee’s Matt Simms and Southern Miss's Austin Davis in for visits.

Need Rating (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being of highest importance): 1.

Next: RB.

Potential second-round picks for Giants

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
12:59
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So we have a few weeks to go before the draft and ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have given us their first-round mock picks for the Giants at 32.

But what about the second round? Both have taken stabs at who they think the Giants will pick in the second round with the 63rd overall pick.

KIPER:
RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech

"They lose Brandon Jacobs, but Wilson will bring some power of his own, with a lot more explosiveness."

MCSHAY:
OT Mitchell Schwartz, Cal

Ohm's take: I like both picks made my Kiper and McShay. They both answer areas of need for the Giants. Of course, we know that Jerry Reese likes to take best player available so it remains to be seen. But with the 5-9, 206-pound Wilson, the Giants do address their backup running back situation. Remember, Andre Brown will also be sitting out the first four games due to suspension.

And with the 6-5, 318-pound Schwartz, the Giants would be taking somebody who could potentially help at right tackle, where David Diehl and James Brewer could compete for the starting job this season.

What do you guys think of Kiper and McShay's second-round picks for the Giants? Tell us below.

McShay's running back options for Giants

April, 6, 2012
4/06/12
1:44
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Todd McShay recently gave us some best player available candidates for the Giants at 32.

He discussed Nebraska's Lavonte David as an option and some offensive linemen as well. While the Giants pretty much draft best player available instead of need, McShay did talk about some running back options if the Giants wanted to go running back somewhere in the first two rounds to find a replacement for Brandon Jacobs.

"Looking at running back, I don’t think necessarily any of those second-tier running backs after Trent Richardson is worth drafting [in the first round]," the ESPN draft analyst said. "But if they have one that they believe in more than the other, they will have the pick of the litter at 32."

The top running backs expected to be drafted after Richardson include Boise State's Doug Martin, Miami's Lamar Miller, Virginia Tech's David Wilson and Oregon's Lamichael James. Many mock drafts have those running backs going somewhere in the second round.

"I think there are three guys that you look at: Lamar Miller from Miami a speedster guy who can one cut and go," McShay said. "David Wilson from Virginia Tech, who is another guy with acceleration and hits the hole hard but the vision and patience not quite there... not great in the passing game but can improve. And Doug Martin, probably the most complete of the second-tier backs, but not as explosive as the other two. Those would be some of the guys at running back that are possibilities at 32 for the Giants."

When do you guys think the Giants should draft a running back if they do so at all? And who would you draft? Tell us below.

Giants mock draft 3.0

April, 5, 2012
4/05/12
3:59
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Mel Kiper's latest mock draft is out and he is staying consistent with his pick for the Giants.

The ESPN draft analyst again has the Giants drafting Stanford tight end Coby Fleener, considered to be the best tight end in the draft. It makes sense since the Giants can use another tight end even after signing Martellus Bennett. They still have Bear Pascoe and Christian Hopkins while Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard recover from torn ACLs.

Todd McShay, ESPN draft analyst, has the Giants going best player available as well in his last mock draft with Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David.

My opinion is GM Jerry Reese will draft the best player available so if Fleener is tops on their board at that time, they could pick him. I wonder if the Giants will be able to pass on, say, a talented defensive lineman like Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy if he is available at 32. Both McShay and Kiper have the defensive tackle going at 33 with the first pick in the second round.

Here is Kiper's take on his choice for the Giants:

Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

"The best tight end on the board, Fleener has the speed to be used off the line, where he can become a matchup problem and further diversify an already strong passing attack. Fleener has great hands, fantastic route-running ability and will become a big threat in the red zone. The Giants also need offensive line help, or could target a linebacker here, but Fleener fits."

So what do you guys think of Kiper's choice?

McShay's best players available at 32

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
1:42
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With the final pick of the draft, it is hard to predict who the Giants will select in the first round.

But it’s a good bet Jerry Reese will stick to his philosophy of taking best player available early and often in the draft.

Last week, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay held a conference call with reporters and I asked him to give us some best player available candidates who could be there at 32.

McShay says he would take Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David at 32 if he is there. But there are some other players McShay says the Giants may have to take a long hard look at if they are available at 32.

McShay says from a pure talent and physical standpoint, North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins could be a BPA candidate. Of course, the Giants and other teams could shy away from the reported baggage surrounding the cornerback.

“Is a team going to be willing to deal with his off-the-field issues?” McShay said. “He is a mid-first round prospect and certainly belongs in the top 15 if you are just looking at physical tools. But I don’t know, especially a team like the Giants, if they are going to want to deal with it.”

“I don’t know if the juice is going to be worth the squeeze with this kid,” McShay continued. “And it is unfortunate because he is so gifted and has such a bright future if he can kind of get away from all the things that are bringing him down and the people around him.”

The Giants could use a right tackle with free agent Kareem McKenzie not expected to return. The Giants could start David Diehl at right tackle this season.

“If one of the offensive tackles were to fall, like a Mike Adams, maybe he falls because teams are concerned about the inconsistency,” McShay said about the Ohio State product. “I think he would be a great fit. I think Cordy Glenn, if he were to fall -- I don’t think he will -- the Georgia guard/right tackle. [Offensive tackle] Jonathan Martin from Stanford, some teams aren’t as high on him and he could fall because teams don’t perceive him to be strong enough right now. I think that would be a possibility.”

Later this week, we will take a look at some running backs that McShay says the Giants could consider at 32 or perhaps in the second round.

Tell us what you think of some of these best player available candidates McShay mentioned.

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