New York Giants: Three New Year's Resolutions For 2013
In retrospect, the 2012 NY Giants' season may be remembered as the season that could've been. Unlike 2011's miraculous late season surge and march through the playoffs, this year's team was exposed for what they actually were -- an average team.
With the Injury to Terrell Thomas early in the season and the departure of Aaron Ross through free agency, offenses attacked Corey Webster and exposed that he is no longer an elite corner (or maybe never was).
In a defense loaded with talent on the defensive line, the lack of defensive backfield help will need to be addressed in the offseason.
With that in mind, Xavier Rhodes (Florida State) will most likely be available as the No. 2 cornerback in the Draft when Giants come up in the first round and despite him still being "raw talent", might be an ideal fit in a defense that can always use another good cover man in a division that has become pass happy.
While Eli Manning was one of the least sacked quarterbacks in the NFL in 2012, the G-Men could really use some young blood on the offensive line and this year's Draft offers them a number of options. Many experts have as many as six offensive tackles projected to be taken in the first round with two underclassmen, Jake Matthews (Texas A&M, Jr.) and Taylor Lewan (Central Michigan), leading this stellar group.
Jerry Reese and his crew are less likely to follow the trends and go with the best player available. As such, an offensive guard may be the best selection with their first round pick.
Chance Wormack (Alabama, Sr.) who has been graded as a little "undersized", might be a perfect fit on a team that is desperate to establish the run. A solid inside blocker who is well balanced and played in a pro offense, would be able to come right in and start opposite David Diehl.
If Wormack is already chosen, look for the Giants to think long and hard about Jonathan Cooper (UNC, Sr.). He may be the better run blocker of the two and will definitely be available for the pickings. And with only eight legitimate guards graded in the first five rounds of this year's Draft, taking one of the better overall players who just happens to ease pressure off the Giants' main weapon of Eli Manning, should be a high priority on a team that may only be one or two pieces away from making another Super Bowl run in the years to come.
The last wish list item that the team needs to fill is at linebacker. While Mathias Kiwanuka and Michael Boley are more than capable, there is little in the way of depth at the outside linebacking position. To top that off, Chase Blackburn has held down the middle linebacker position after being cut by these same Giants a few years ago and Mark Herzlich is just an adequate fill in on a part-time basis.
Unfortunately there are very few "quality" middle linebackers in this year's Draft and as such, the Giants may look at Jon Bostic (Florida, Sr) in the third round to provide some of the run stopping that is needed.
If he's not there, then look for this team to add more outside help, maybe targeting John Simon (Ohis St., Sr) who has a motor that does not stop and would fit the push rush happy defense of Perry Fewell.
No matter what, this team has a core of quality players that now needs the finishing touches to become a consistently good football team.