Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
No. 1 Team Need: Tight End
The Giants attacked team needs in free agency, seeking quantity over high-priced "quality." The lone ignored spot was tight end, a critical position in new OC Ben McAdoo's offense. McAdoo comes from Green Bay, where the Packers made multi-dimensional use of Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, and Brandon Bostick. The Giants' lone holdover tight end of note is Adrien Robinson, a size-speed freak with big durability concerns and three career games played.
First day option: Eric Ebron, UNC - Most know Ebron for his athleticism and yards after catch ability. Both will serve him well in the NFL. Tight ends only need to be willing and adequate blockers to stay on the field for most packages, and even though Ebron only played 20 percent of his snaps inline in 2013, I believe he can achieve this. The UNC product could play more of a receiving role early in his career, however.
Second day possibility: Troy Niklas, Notre Dame - A possible option at No. 43 if Jerry Reese wants a more traditional tight end. Limited receiving experience thanks to Notre Dame’s scheme, which kept him in to pass protect, but Niklas offers tons of upside. He could be the next complete tight end, which there are only a handful of in the NFL.
Third day flier: AC Leonard, Tennessee State - A Florida transfer, Leonard offers some ridiculous straight-line speed and overall explosive athleticism. He seems a bit linear, but the tight end can take a reception in the flat to the house along the sideline.
No. 2 Team Need: Defensive Line
New York has the potential -- emphasis on potential -- to field a quality front four in 2014, with Jason Pierre-Paul and Damontre Moore on the ends, and Johnathan Hankins replacing free agent departure Linval Joseph next to Cullen Jenkins. The Giants have little to no depth, however. Mathias Kiwanuka is in swift decline, and there's essentially a blank slate behind Hankins and Jenkins at D-Tackle. In reserve, coordinator Perry Fewell could use multiple role-playing specialists -- a run clogger to give Hankins breathers and an explosive edge pass rusher.
First day option: DT Aaron Donald, Pitt - Interior disruption is king, and Donald offers it at a high rate. His blend of explosion, hand use and leverage is outstanding. Everything has already been said about Donald, but with the Giants he would fit next to Hankins at three technique very well. Forcing to the NFL to get over their size bias for certain positions is a tall task, but Donald has done it.
Second day possibility: DE Kareem Martin, UNC - Martin would play more of an edge role, but there is a chance Reese sees a bit of Justin Tuck in his game. The Tar Heel tested very well, which explains why he attempted to play like a speed rusher too often, but he matured his game to add some power elements in 2013.
Third day flier: DT Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech - I know Ellis is a massive man (6’1/334 lbs), but he is at his best getting up the field with nimble feet and leg drive rather than eating space at the line of scrimmage. In fact, he needs to lower his base against double teams. Ellis could play a lot of three technique early, then shift over to the nose in sub-package situations, or at least be a worthwhile rotational player.
No. 3 Team Need: Offensive Line
The Giants' line fell off a cliff in 2013, and none of GM Jerry Reese's recent draft stabs filled the voids. Reese did make several pre-draft moves here, signing LG Geoff Schwartz and C J.D. Walton, after wooing RG Chris Snee into a massive pay cut and releasing C David Baas. Snee is 32 and nearing the end of his career, however, while Walton hasn't played an NFL snap since September of 2012. And let's not forget that LT Will Beatty was terrible last year.
First day option: Taylor Lewan, Michigan - I was surprised by Lewan’s athletic display at the Combine. I don’t love him as a top 15 prospect, but I would be a bit naive if I did not think it was possible (or even probable) he was selected in that range. Lewan is more of an occupier who sustains his block.
Second day possibility: G Dakota Dozier, Furman - A tackle at the FCS level making a conversion to guard, Dozier struggled on an island out in space but looked much more comfortable inside at the East-West Shrine. He can bend at the knees, absorb and redirect the opposition’s momentum. A third-round pick should be in his future.
Third day flier: G Kevin Danser, Stanford - David Yankey received the majority of recognition along the Stanford line, however Danser has enough talent to warrant a draft pick. He plays at sub-300 pounds and struggles to maintain his footwork when getting to the second level, but Danser can mirror and occupy the heads up defensive lineman.
Giants 2014 Draft Picks (7)
First Round (No. 12)
Second Round (No. 43)
Third Round (No. 74)
Fourth Round (No. 113)
Fifth Round (No. 152)
Fifth Round (No. 174 - Compensatory)
Sixth Round (No. 187)
Giants Current First-Team Offense
QB: Eli Manning
RB: Rashad Jennings
WR: Victor Cruz
WR: Rueben Randle
WR: Jerrel Jernigan
TE: Adrien Robinson
LT: Will Beatty
LG: Geoff Schwartz
C: J.D. Walton
RG: Chris Snee
RT: Justin Pugh
Giants Current First-Team Defense
RE: Jason Pierre-Paul
LE: Damontre Moore
DT: Cullen Jenkins
NT: Johnathan Hankins
MLB: Jon Beason
WLB: Spencer Paysinger
SLB: Jacquian Williams
LCB: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
RCB: Prince Amukamara
FS: Stevie Brown
SS: Antrel Rolle
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Jerry Reese
- Johnathan Hankins
- Aaron Donald
- Eric Ebron