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2015 NFL Draft Primer: New York Giants

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Team needs: Offensive line, Safety, Defensive line, Linebacker

Giants’ selections

Round 1- 9th overall

Round 2- 40th overall

Round 3- 74th overall

Round 4- 108th overall

Round 5- 144th overall

Round 6- 186th overall

Round 7- 226th overall

Round 7- 245th overall

 

Good fits early:

 

Alvin “Bud” Dupree: The New York Giants brought Steve Spagnuolo back to once again be the defensive coordinator for 2015 with hopes that he can duplicate the success that helped the Giants win a Super Bowl in his first stint with the club. That team won with explosive pass rushers and an aggressive style of play. The team won with guys like Bud Dupree. Dupree may not be the best pass rusher in this draft, but at 269 pounds, he may be as well suited to play 4-3 end as any guy atop the draft. It would be no surprise at all if the Giants selected Dupree with the 9th overall pick on April 30th.

 

Brandon Scherff: Because of his versatility, many are comparing Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff to Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Zack Martin. The belief is that Scherff could be a solid NFL tackle, or a great NFL guard. The Giants, could certainly use either, and it would be no shock to see them select Scherff at No. 9. The Giants offensive line was one of the worst in all of football last season, and the only real obstacle for the Giants to overcome to have an explosive offense. Expect the Giants to address the line at least twice in the draft.

 

Danny Shelton: The Giants ranked 30th against the run last year giving up 135 yards per game on the ground, and lining up Shelton on the inside with Johnathan Hankins would give the Giants a formidable pair. With Jason Pierre-Paul, Damontre Moore, Robert Ayers, and with the signing of George Selvie, you could argue that the Giants have more depth at end than they do at tackle where things get pretty slim after Hankins and Cullen Jenkins, who is getting pretty long in the tooth.

 

Don’t be surprised if the Giants don’t draft a receiver, or if they wait until the later rounds if they do. Some mock drafts have the Giants selecting a receiver as early as the first round because of concern Victor Cruz may not be ready for the season, but it seems unlikely with where the team is at. Given the holes on the offensive and defensive lines, it’s hard to imagine the Giants putting a first round premium on wide receiver this season.

 

Whether it’s Week 1 or shortly thereafter, Cruz will be back, and the Giants have to go into this season with faith that he’ll at least partly return to form. Assuming he does, the Giants should expect a big year from Cruz, because he’s always been at his best when he wasn’t the team’s first receiving option. The Giants will expect some continued growth from Rueben Randle, and it’s unlikely they gave Dwayne Harris the contract they did without some designs for making him a part of the offense.

 

The Giants know they can count on some production from guys like Kevin Ogletree and Preston Parker, and there was even some preseason flashes out of Corey Washington. Considering that depth at the receiver position, and the fact that the Giants signed Shane Vereen who is a great receiver out of the backfield, the Giants would be wise to spend their early selections on more pressing needs.

 

Potential late-round targets:

 

Jeremiah Poutasi: In the last handful of years, it’s been far too common for the Giants to have to resort to a makeshift offensive line. If there’s anything that the Giants should value on the offensive line, it’s versatility. Jeremiah Poutasi started at left tackle for two years for the Runnin’ Utes of Utah, but the 6-foot-5 335 pound Poutasi will likely kick inside to guard at the next level. For a team looking to add depth across the offensive line, Poutasi is a guy who can provide it at multiple positions.

 

Sam Carter: Weak draft class or not, the Giants will draft a safety at some point, and assuming they don’t see value early, TCU’s Sam Carter could be an intriguing pick late in the draft. Carter may lack the speed to be a great NFL safety, but he’s an instinctive player who’s recorded 9 interceptions over his last two seasons with the Horned Frogs. The Giants need starting safeties with coverage skills, but there aren’t many of those guys in this draft unless they try to convert a corner into a safety.

 

Henry Anderson: If the Giants don’t select a pass rusher early, Anderson might be a fit if he’s available in the 4th round. This young man is exactly what the Giants love to draft, a smart, versatile football player. At 6-foot-6, and 287 pounds, Anderson is big enough to move around the defensive line, a trait that Spagnuolo covets in his defensive lineman. For a team with some smaller ends who are better suited to play on pass downs, Anderson makes all the sense in the world.

 

For a pretty good football team, the Giants have plenty of holes to address, but if the 2015 class is to be called a success, they’ll have to get better from the inside out. The Giants are solid at the skill positions, but they’ll never be better than mediocre if they can’t push people around up front. The Giants must find some help at safety and at linebacker, but it’s in the trenches where this team needs the most help. While fans of most teams go into the NFL draft hoping for shiny new toys on offense and defense, New York Giants fans would likely be thrilled if the team spent three picks on the offensive line.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.