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Friday, February 24, 2012
Could Giants draft a defensive lineman?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Sure, of course they could. The New York Giants are picking 32nd in the draft. There's no way to know who's going to be available to them at that point. A team that always drafts the best player available, is drafting in a spot where that's the only smart way to go. The Giants could draft any position in the first round and it wouldn't be a huge surprise -- though as we've discussed, offensive line, linebacker and running back are not generally positions they like to draft early.

Anyway, this came up as I was reading Ohm's report-card review of the defensive line. Even if they trade Osi Umenyiora, they'll still be deep with pass rushers. They shouldn't have a problem re-signing Dave Tollefson, and they can always move Mathias Kiwanuka back up to the line from his hybrid linebacker spot. No one in the world would be surprised to see Jerry Reese take a pass- rusher with his first-round pick, but I'd be even less surprised if the Giants went for an interior defensive lineman. Rocky Bernard is a free agent, Marvin Austin is a question mark coming off his rookie-season training camp injury and they're generally pretty young at defensive tackle.

It appears as though they could have some good options at defensive tackle at No. 32. Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest mock draft has players like Memphis' Dontari Poe, Penn State's Devon Still, Michigan State's Jerel Worthy and Connecticut's Kendall Reyes all going in the mid-to-high 20s, which means one or more from that group could conceivably slip into the early 30s.

I know it's not groundbreaking to write that the Giants could prioritize the defensive line in the draft. It's just not something we'd talked about. And these days on the blog, we're always looking for new stuff to talk about.