Rapid Reaction: Giants take DT Austin

April, 29, 2011
4/29/11
7:54
PM ET


The Giants took a Prince in the first round. In the second round, they took a defensive tackle who comes with some baggage.

The Giants drafted North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin with the 20th pick in the second round (No. 52 overall) -- one of the Tar Heels who was suspended for the season amidst an NCAA investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct.

The Giants needed an offensive lineman and a linebacker. But in this case, it appears they again went talent over need.

PLAYER: Marvin Austin
SCHOOL: North Carolina
POSITION: DT
HEIGHT: 6-1
WEIGHT: 309

THE 411: Austin has big talent, but comes with character questions. Some have likened him to Ndamukong Suh, thinking that eventually he can develop into a force. But his suspension last year makes him a question mark. North Carolina kicked Austin off the team for receiving improper benefits. Clearly the Giants felt he was worth the risk as this was a value pick. General manager Jerry Reese said Austin's demeanor and motor have been compared to Keith Hamilton.

HOW HE FITS IN: The Giants can use another defensive tackle because of the uncertainty surrounding Barry Cofield. Cofield is coming off a terrific season and wants to return, but he has said he could request a trade if he has to play again for a one-year restricted free agent tender. Cofield could become a restricted free agent or unrestricted free agent depending on the new CBA. Mathias Kiwanuka is in the same boat. Austin's arrival gives the Giants insurance in case Cofield is traded or leaves. Austin now joins a crowded front line that includes Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard and last year's second-round pick, Linval Joseph.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "We did a lot of homework on him," Reese said. "We couldn't pass him up. I think he was very remorseful. I think he's disappointed that he didn't play. When he gets here, we'll keep a close eye on him like some other players we have drafted in the past."

"We took a very talented defensive lineman that has had some issues, without a doubt," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We did a lot of studying on this guy, with probably seven or eight of our people that were at the workout at North Carolina. We had a private interview with him at the combine. And I spent quite a few minutes on the phone with him prior to telling him that we would be drafting him in the second round and that there were some very high expectations for him if he were to come here and be a New York Giant. I think he understood that."

"His grade, just strictly looking at his football ability is very high," Coughlin added. "He wants the opportunity to prove a lot of people wrong."
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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