COMMENTARY | Are the New York Giants feeling lucky? If so, they may want to roll the dice on Florida State defensive end Cornellius "Tank" Carradine in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.
Yes, there are better prospects than Carradine in this year's draft class. He may not even be the best defensive end on his own team -- Carradine's All-American teammate Bjoern Werner led the ACC in sacks with 13 this past season. However, there's no telling who will be there when New York makes its first selection in the draft, so the Giants have to consider many options. One of them should be Carradine, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury in November.
Carradine is a nice blend of size and speed, but he may tumble down the draft board due to his injury. Thus, taking "Tank" in the first round is risky, but potentially full of reward. Check out Doug Farrar's in-depth profile of Carradine for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo! Sports. Prior to his injury, his stock was on fire. Furthermore, Carradine is a good fit for the Giants, who need a pass-rushing end to bolster the defensive line.
Getting to the quarterback has been the Giants' calling card over the last few years. Two seasons ago, Big Blue was tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the second-most sacks in the National Football League with 48. But the Giants dropped to No. 22 in the league with 33 sacks this past season. It clearly compromised their overall defense, which allowed a franchise-record 6,134 yards.
With free agent Osi Umenyiora on the way out and Justin Tuck's production on the decline, Carradine would give the Giants depth on the defensive line. Plus, hybrid linebacker/defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka would be able to focus on stopping the run. The Giants allowed at least 110 yards rushing in each of their final six games and finished ranked No. 25 against the run this past season. Incidentally, Carradine made 47 solo tackles (13 for loss) with 11.0 sacks in just 11 games in 2012.
Teams no doubt will be monitoring Carradine's rehab leading up to the draft. It's possible that his stock could rebound, but based on several post-combine mock drafts, including one conducted by Shutdown Corner, Carradine will be there when New York makes its first-round selection. All things considered, Carradine would be a solid sleeper pick at No. 19.
If Carradine is available when the Giants pick in the first round, should they take him? Who is on your Big Blue draft board? Let me know in the comments section below!
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo! Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports.
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