The New York Giants' 2013 NFL Draft could be their most important since the Eli Manning era began in New York.
With key contributors from past Super Bowl victories being released (Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Boley, Chris Canty) or not re-signed (Chase Blackburn, Kenny Phillips, Osi Umenyiora, Lawrence Tynes), the Giants must replace these players and restock their depth chart.
I have compiled my version of all seven rounds, plus the compensation pick as well for the New York Giants.
Round 1 (19th pick): Datone Jones (DE) UCLA
Jones played both DE and DT while at UCLA; which is why his sack total was low in 2012. Despite this, many view Jones as a dominant DL who will play along the defensive line much like the role Justin Tuck has with the Giants. With a high football IQ and the talent to match, Jones will have an impact as a rookie and a successful NFL career.
Alternate Pick: Alec Ogletree (LB) Georgia
Round 2 (49th pick): Khaseem Greene (OLB) Rutgers
The best way to describe Green is defensive playmaker with a knack for making big plays. He’s an excellent blitzer that has a tendency to make plays in the backfield. Many will question his lack of size and the fact that Greene has struggled in coverage (which is odd from a former safety). Greene is a solid selection for the Giants in the 2nd round as he will bring leadership and play-making ability to their defense.
Alternate Pick: David Amerson (CB) North Carolina State
Round 3 (81st pick): Marquise Goodwin (WR) Texas
Marquise Goodwin is a lightning bolt as he posted the fastest 40-yard time among WR at the Combine. He’s an accomplished Olympic Athlete (long jumper) at the 2012 Olympics.
Goodwin has big play abilities; can return punts and kickoffs as well. Biggest knock on him is that he relies on his speed too much and can be sloppy in his routes. With Victor Cruz possibly leaving after this season and the team not totally sold on Jerrel Jernigan, Goodwin could be his replacement as the slot WR.
Alternate Pick: Oday Aboushi (OT) Virgina
Round 4 (116th pick): Brandon McGee (CB) Univ of Miami
McGee has adequate size, build and strength for the position. He has quick feet and good straight-line speed. Brandon possesses good recovery speed and he plays with confident competitiveness and uses excellent body control to knock away passes around the receiver without interfering. McGee shows violent hands to rip off receiver blocks in the run game. He willingly sticks his nose into tackles on the edge and adds himself to piles.
Alternate Pick: Kenny Stills (WR) Oklahoma
Round 5 (152nd pick): Xavier Nixon (OT/OG) Florida State
Nixon is extremely athletic for his size (6’5", 311) and is light on his feet. Has the ability to sustain his blocks and shows a mean streak at times. His versatility could translate to playing both OT and OG at the NFL level. Solid as a blocker in both the running and passing game and would be a great addition to the Giants' offensive line.
Alternate Pick: Devin Taylor (DE) South Carolina
Round 6 (187th pick): Ricky Wagner (OT) Wisconsin
Ricky Wagner has that physical ability and blocking strength that your typical blue collar Wisconsin offensive tackle prospect has. His durability and size (6’6", 320) is ideal as a NFL OT. Wagner possesses an outstanding football IQ; which is a major criteria with Giants GM Jerry Reese. Wagner is a tenacious run blocker and an excellent pass blocker as well. His awareness and intangibles on the football field is what many NFL teams look for in an OT.
Alternate Pick: Sanders Commings (CB) Georgia
Round 7 (225th pick): Eric Martin (OLB) Nebraska
Martin plays aggressively and loves to hit. Reads the plays well and sheds his blockers. Very good in run support and can move laterally. Needs to improve on his pass coverage skills, but is capable of being a solid contributor on defense and on special teams.
Alternate Pick: Michael Williams (TE) Alabama
Compensation Pick (253rd pick): Stacy McGee (DT) Oklahoma
McGee is a silky smooth defensive lineman who has the ability to be unstoppable at times. OftenMcGee tends to take some plays off, but has excelled in the big games.
He has a tremendous frame that many NFL coaches would love to get their hands on. Off the field concerns has been McGee’s biggest problems as he was arrested while under the influence and also had a suspended license. The Giants have a history drafting players with personal issues (Ahmad Bradshaw) in the late rounds.
Alternate Pick: Josh Kline (OG) Kent State
This year’s Draft could signify whether the Giants continue to be a serious Super Bowl threat; or perhaps remain a team hovering around the .500 mark as they have done the past two seasons (despite winning the Super Bowl).
The Giants will need to draft wisely and have at least five of their selections be solid contributors their rookie season. GM Jerry Reese is one of the best in the NFL in evaluating talent and he will be tested this year as the Giants need to get younger at many positions, if they expect to be contenders.