(Sports Network) - What a difference a year makes. The Giants finished the
2011 season 9-7, got hot at the right time and won the Super Bowl. In 2012
that same 9-7 mark wasn't even good enough to get them to the postseason
dance and a lot of people now look at New York as a descending club.
The offense certainly needs some tweaks and while it's imperative the Giants
work something out with star slot receiver Victor Cruz, the signing of former
Oakland tight end Brandon Myers probably takes a Tyler Eifert or Zach Ertz off
the table for Big Blue in the first round.
Offensive line is also a concern but the real disappointment in Gotham last
season was Perry Fewell's defense, which struggled mightily against the run
and saw its once vaunted pass rush evaporate into a non-entity.
So, it should be defense, defense and defense for highly-regarded general
manger Jerry Reese. When the Giants were winning Super Bowls, it was usually
because of Eli Manning along with their pass rush. New York needs to replenish
the rush after a down season. Osi Umenyiora is now in Atlanta, Justin Tuck has
seen his better days and Jason Pierre-Paul was closer to ordinary than J.J.
Watt a season ago.
Florida State teammates Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine could help at end and
be options with the 19th overall pick. The G-Men could also use a thumper
inside at linebacker like Notre Dame's Mantei Te'o or a rangy outside 'backer
since Chase Blackburn and Michael Boley have been phased out.
The secondary, meanwhile, also seems to be an issue especially after the loss
of oft-injured safety Kenny Phillips to NFC- East rival Philadelphia. Don't
rule out Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro, a player who has the ideal combination of
size and athleticism to roam from sideline to sideline in coverage.
2012 Record: 9-7
Top Needs: DE, LB, CB, S
First Three Picks: No. 19, No. 49, No. 81
Number of Selections: 8 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - David Wilson (RB, Virginia Tech); 2011 -
Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska); 2010 - Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, South Florida);
2009 - Hakeem Nicks (WR, North Carolina); 2008 - Kenny Phillips (S, Miami-
Florida); 2007 - Aaron Ross (DB, Texas); 2006 - Mathias Kiwanuka (DE, Boston
College); 2005 - none; 2004 - Eli Manning (QB, Ole Miss)*; 2003 - William
Joseph (DT, Miami-Florida); 2002 - Jeremy Shockey (TE, Miami-Florida).
*Originally drafted by San Diego, then traded to Giants on draft day in
exchange for New York first-round pick Philip Rivers
The Sports Network