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Friday, April 5, 2013

NFL Draft Preview: New York Giants

Wild on Sports
2013 NFL Draft Capsules:

New York Giants
 By Wild on Sports NFL Analyst Davis McGregor
On the Clock: New York Giants

Team Overview:
After winning two Super Bowls over the last 5 years, it is kind of a disappointment for the New York Giants to have only gone 9-7 last season. Granted Tom Coughlin seems like he is going to be checked into a retirement home at any minute, expectations for the reigning champs were high last year.

And to make matters worse, they just happen to be playing in the most difficult divisions in the league. Rookie RG3 is the reason the G-Men went from winning the Super Bowl to losing their division.

Right now the Eli Manning needs to step up to not only regain his team as a top team in the league, but establish himself as an elite quarterback. If that’s gonna happen some help from the Giants front office in this draft.

Team Needs:

1. Tight End
2. Linebacker
3. Safety

The pride of New York’s team has always come from their defense. Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre Paul are taking care of business on the front end, but there’s a hole right in the center on that defense. Along with some issues over the top of it as well.

New York isn’t too far out of the running for contention winning the NFC East, but some work needs to done if they hope to string together some playoff wins.

Likely Fits:
Mathias Kiwanuka is managing at his spot as an inside linebacker but is a dwindling player among stars. Just because Justin Tuck is playing up front doesn’t mean a team can slouch at the linebacker position.

One player coming into he draft this year that is the farthest thing from a slouch, is Georgia’s Alec Ogletree.

Ogletree is on the radar of a good deal of teams and for good reason. He has proved himself capable of commanding a defense and stepping up to get the job done no matter what. He is a play maker that can force turnovers and break up the big plays. An incredible athlete that will maybe drop down to the Giants pick but cant be counted on. That is why Manti Te’o needs to get some looks too.

Te’o has had a roller coaster of publicity this past year. From being the Heisman Trophy finalist, to the victim of a “catfish” situation Te’o. It’s needless to say the they guy’s had a rough ride.

Contrast to his popularity, his play has been very consistent. And at a high level. Many teams had their issues with the Hawaiian linebacker, mostly due to his off the field issues. Well until the combine. At this year’s NFL Combine Te’o ran a 4.82, a time beat out by a pair of offensive tackles. Running a time a high as that definetly warrants a double check at Te’o’s profile.

However, Te’o came more prepared to the Notre Dame pro day and dropped his time down to a 4.69, finally beating out those Tackles.

While this may come as an awkward statement, just bear with me. In this case Te’o’s time seems a little skewed. He may not be able to run the fastest 40-time but when you watch the game film, the kid’s moving a hell of a lot faster than his 4.82 showed.

Te’o might not be a great pick if you’re looking to build a track team but when it comes to football, he’s your guy. The kid can flat out play and when it comes down to it, it’s about how you do on the field, not on the track.

Two years the G-Men took Prince Amukamara, a corner out of Nebraska who had high expectations of becoming the next Darrelle Revis playing in the Big City. A season plagued with injuries tore these hopes apart and ended any plans of the phrase “Amukamara Island” to rest.

With Prince back and healthy, the problem in the secondary kicks over to the safety position.

Antrel Rolle has been a key part of the Giants success on the defensive end over the last 3 seasons but as a player hitting 31 this season might see his days as a starter winding down. As young receivers start becoming faster and faster with every year, it gets hard for the aging DB’s to keep up. Only way to beat that? Draft the defensive guys that are getting just as fast.

How about a safety who can run a 4.56 40-yard dash time? Coming out of Miami, no not the school, is John Cyprien. He looks to become the 8th Florida International University student to make it to the big leagues, and by the looks of it the most successful of the bunch.

This year the FIU safety earned himself a spot at the Senior Bowl and showed off the skills that made him his schools all-time leading tackler. Cyprien finished off the 2012 season with 93 tackles and 5 turnovers. His ability to make plays all over the field is just what New York needs. When it comes down to a defense, if your team can force turnovers you will win games. Plain and simple.

That is why scooping up Cyprien in the 2nd round will make the Giants defense a much more dangerous squad.

With Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz the Giants are able to stretch the field with flashing speed. Not many teams have outside receivers that can take the top off a defense quite like these two, but what happens when the safeties double cover these receivers? No matter how good your route runners are, you need to have a check down in case they can’t get open. And with Martellus Bennett off to the Bears, that now rests upon Bear Pascoe.

When your starting tight end was your starting full back a season ago you know you’re in trouble. The Giants can’t rely on Pascoe to make the same kind of plays as Bennett had a year previous. Taking a tight end such as Tyler Eifert would create another target for Manning and open up the deep routes for Nicks and Cruz.

While most of the attention at Notre Dame went to linebacker Manti Te’o, perhaps the Giants first pick, Eifert was playing at just as elite of a level. While dealing with struggling quarterbacks, Eifert was still able to put up great numbers. Enough to win him the Mackey Award given to the nations best tight end.

As the go-to guy in the red zone for Notre Dame, New York could use that same sort of production in the end zone. In 2012 the Giants had a 54.67% touchdown rate when inside the red zone. Eifert could do a great job of not only maintaining this stat Bennett helped put up, but raising it. Martellus Bennett pulled in 5 TD grabs this past season and if Eifert gets the nod by NYC this year, the tight end production could increase dramatically.

It’ll be a fight over the Irish for New York in this first round wavering between taking a linebacker or tight end. The Giants have a need at both but at least the linebacker spot is safe for now.

Hearing Rodger Goodell call out, “With the 19th overall pick, the NY Giants select: Tyler Eifert-Notre Dame.” will be a perfect pick. By the looks of it, Tyler Eifert just might be the hidden pot of gold in this year’s draft.

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