After winning the Super Bowl in 2011, the Giants still have needs, and there's no better time to fill them than during the NFL Draft. On April 26th, a wild three-day event will take place in the heart of New York City, and the Giants will be looking to snag important pieces for their quest to defend the title. Even though they are the Super Bowl Champions, holes still remain on the Big Blue roster.
Though they are picking 32nd, there will still be plenty of talent on the board, and the first pick is a crucial one for General Manager Jerry Reese, who has had incredible drafts since taking over in 2007. Below, you will find coverage of the first four picks of the New York Giants. Rounds 5-7 could really head in any direction, but I believe Big Blue will fill all of their major holes in those opening rounds. Nobody can claim to be an expert on the NFL Draft, but we can sure as hell try.
*Aside from round one, all picks are not "official", as there will be supplemantary picks and such, but most should fall right around the actual number*
Round 1, Pick #32
TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson
The Giants were hit hard with injuries during Super Bowl XLVI, when Travis Beckum tore his ACL in the second quarter, and starter Jake Ballard tore an ACL of his own in the fourth. The Giants have bigger needs, but GM and Draft Guru Jerry Reese is notorious for taking the best talent available, and Allen is an animal. Offensive tackles Matt Kalil, Reilly Reiff, and Jonathan Martin will most likely all be gone, and Allen fills a very big need.
With the sudden outburst of fantastic players like Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Aaron Hernandez, teams will be trying to uncover the next big gem. Allen is a physical specimen, standing at 6-foot-4, and tips the scales at 275 pounds. With Eli Manning playing at such a high level, and his wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz creating holes for themselves, adding someone like Allen could be devastating for opposing defenses.
Round 2, Pick #64
ILB Bobby Wagner, Utah State
With offensive linemen going early and often, trying to shore up blockers for Eli Manning at this point in the Draft would require a bit of a reach, and that's not Reese's nature. Bobby Wagner from Utah State was tremendous the week of the Senior Bowl. Wagner was a two-year captain, an above average student, and active in the community. On top of that, Wagner has not sustained any major injuries.
After watching the NFC Championship, Giants fans long for a linebacker who tackles as well as Patrick Willis and NaVarro Bowman. Though that is unlikely in the second round, Wagner ranks above average in terms of tackling and 3rd-down capabilities.
Round 3, Pick #95
OG Brandon Brooks, Miami (OH)
Keenan Robinson, an outside linebacker from Texas, is also a potential pick here, but there's a good chance he goes in the middle of the 3rd round. Either way, the Giants will be looking to finally add some help to an aging offensive line. David Diehl was very subpar in 2011, and he's owed eight million over the next two seasons, meaning he has potentially played his last game in a Giants uniform.
Brooks has fantastic intangibles, and has played both guard and tackle. He was the RedHawks' Freshman of the Year in 2008, and has exceptional weight room strength. He has a minor tendency to miss some gap calls, but with the 95th pick of the Draft, you're not drafting blue chips.
Round 4, Pick #127
RB/WR Chris Rainey, Florida
Although this selection is a little flashier than what Giants fans have come to expect, it would be huge for this offense. Rainey is expected to run one of the fastest 40-yard dash times at the Combine, and he could have very easily been a successful track star. The G-Men could very easily turn Rainey into a backup running back, with Darren Sproles-like qualities.
Rainey may end up going a little bit before the Giants have this selection, but if Brandon Jacobs is let go, or can't restructure a new deal, then the Giants will look elsewhere, and Rainey, albeit a completely different build than the big bruiser Jacobs, can definitely fill his open slot if given the opportunity.
Other Draft Notes
The Giants traded their 5th round selection in last year's Draft, and a conditional pick in the 2012 Draft to the Minnesota Vikings for running back/kick returner Darius Reynauld, and quarterback Sage Rosenfels. It is unclear at this time which pick the Giants sacrificed in the coming Draft, but there are reports that it was most likely linked to Rosenfels' playing time. Given the fact that he has yet to take a snap with the Giants, you can assume it was most likely a 7th round selection.
On April 26th, the NFL and it's elite teams will take a big step into filling open holes, and empty slots in the roster. Make sure to keep a close eye on free agency, because that will often dictate which direction teams in the Draft will take. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment! GO G-MEN!