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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Keep an eye on the DBs in Giants draft

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

I saw that Michael Rothstein, our Detroit Lions team reporter, took a look at the way the defensive backs performed at this year's NFL scouting combine. So, since the New York Giants are picking two picks behind the Lions in the first round (and two picks ahead of them in the second), and since the Giants have drafted a total of six defensive backs in the first three rounds over the past nine years, I figured I'd steal Mike's post and let you guys look at it for some possible names.

Yes, the Giants' primary focus this offseason is going to be on fixing what John Mara called a "broken" offense. And yes, I still think the best use of their prime resources (meaning free-agent dollars and early-round draft picks) would be on the offensive line. But if they get to the draft with a lot of their offensive questions answered via free agency, and if the value dictates that they pick defense early, their history indicates that they will select a cornerback or a safety in one of the early rounds.

Could they use that No. 12 overall pick on a defensive back? It's not a crazy idea. They seem deep at safety right now, but they are looking for a starting cornerback to pair with Prince Amukamara. Corey Webster is surely gone, and while Trumaine McBride did a decent job as a starter last year, he's not likely a long-term answer. Jayron Hosley, their third-round pick from 2012, showed some flashes as a rookie, but health issues have kept him from developing into anything more than a possible answer in the slot.

Anyway, from more than two months out, the guys to keep an eye on in the first round would be Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert and Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard. And I know my "NFL Insiders" colleague Louis Riddick likes Lindenwood's Pierre Desir, the broad-jump star, as a later-round pick. You guys always ask for names, Mike has hooked you up. Enjoy.