By Kevin Casey
With the draft merely hours away, the Giants are facing some serious decisions that could have a huge impact on the 2010 season. The Giants currently hold the 15th pick in this year's draft. Looking at the Giants current pre-draft roster, they do not have many holes and could compete for another Super Bowl with their current personnel. So, what should they do?
For starters, this year's draft is one of the deepest in recent memory. A fourth or fifth round pick this year is comparable to having a second or third in other years. With the Giants having no glaring holes, besides MLB, I am looking for the Giants to trade up this year and draft one of two players. The teams ahead of the Giants have many more holes than they do, and would love to stockpile draft picks in later rounds. For example, the Seahawks hold both the 6th and 14th round picks this season, but have holes than will not be fixed through only these two picks. So here are 3 scenarios we may see from the Giants tonight:
First, the Giants LOVE CJ Spiller (RB-Clemson), but they are not alone. Last year, the Giants used a second round pick on Andre Brown, whose season was lost before it started with a ruptured achilles tendon in training camp. The current starter, Brandon Jacobs, is coming off a disappointing season and could very well be done as an effective back in the NFL. Ahmad Bradshaw, probably the best overall back on the G-Men, is coming off serious surgery on both feet and ankles, which resulted in pins and bolts being put into his feet - he may not be the same. CJ Spiller was a complete back and was a first team all american last year. He was a perennial Heisman Trophy Candidate and put up moster numbers on a mediocre team. He would immediately make an impact on what is already one of the best offenses in the NFL. He can easily sustain 25-30 touches per game between receiving, rushing, and returns; and he could very well put up over 1800 total yards this season. He is a beast in the mold of Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson, and with the Giants run-first approach on offense, he would be an amazing pick up for them. However, as I mentioned before, the Giants are not alone in loving Spiller. The Seahawks have a glaring hole at RB and if they do not snatch him up at 6, he will not fall past the Browns at 7 or the Seahawks again at 14. So in order for the Giants to get the man they want, they need to trade up ahead of the Seahawks and Browns at 6 and 7 respectively. That means the Giants must get on the phone with the Chiefs and see if they can make the move. A package of Uymeniora plus a 3 (or a 2) and a 5 this year will get them the number 5 pick. There is little chance the Giants would do this with Jerry Reese's conservative draft history, but if they want to be a force for the next few years, this is the way to go. As for MLB in this scenario, the Giants (if they can keep their second round pick) will grab Sean Lee (LB-Penn State) in round 2. Lee is going to be a monster in this league in the mold of Chad Greenway. In other drafts, he would be a top 15 pick. This move would fill the small holes the Giants have and automatically make them the NFC favorite in 2010.
The second scenario facing the Giants also includes moving up, but not as far as number 5. The Giants' only hole on the team is the MLB position. The best player to plug that hole is Rolando McClain (MLB-Alabama). Jerry Reese has said he likes his current crop of MLBs, but he said that about the WR's last year and wound up drafting a superstar in the making, Hakeem Nicks. As for McClain, there are a few things that worry me. He has the size and speed, but he also suffers from Sickle Cell Anemia, which he admits saps his strength at times. He also comes from a pro-style 3-4 and he could have a problem adjusting to the 4-3, Tampa 2 of Perry Fewell. With that being said, he is a can't miss prospect and could step in as the MLB to open the new stadium and be there for a very long time. McClain, like Spiller, is a hot commodity and the Giants are not the only team looking for a MLB. The Broncos, picking at 11, are in need of a MLB and they run a 3-4. McClain is a perfect fit for them, and I do not see them passing on him. With that being said, the Giants, in order to grab McClain, need to contact the Jags and talk about moving to number 10. The only downside of this is that the Jags are looking for pass rushers and would almost certainly require Uymeniora plus picks to move out of 10. That may be a steep price to pay for only 5 spots. If the Giants like him, and think he is their MLB of the future, they should make it happen. If this does happen, the Giants can pick up an explosive RB and return man in the 3rd round in Joe McKnight (RB-USC). McKnight is not as good as Spiller and will not be able to handle the beating Spiller would, but he can take it to the house anywhere on the field. He is a great value pick in round 3.
The third, and most likely scenario the Giants may be facing tonight is staying put and picking at 15. If McClain and Spiller do not drop to them (Spiller WILL NOT, McClain might if Denver goes with a WR), the Giants could very well trade out of 15 and package what they get to someone else and find themselves with 4 picks in the first 2 rounds (1 first round, 3 second round picks). On the other hand, the G-Men could pick at 15 and just take the best available player. Pick 15 is too high to take Sean Lee, but not too high to take Jason Pierre Paul (DE-USF). The Giants are loaded with DE talent, but Pierre Paul would be a project - he has only played competitive football for 2 years. This kid has a motor that never dies or subsides, and with the right grooming, he could be one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. If that is the case, and most likely will be, I see the Giants first three rounds ending like this:
1 - Jason Pierre Paul (DE- USF)
2 - Sean Lee (MLB-Penn State)
3 - Joe McKnight (RB-USC)
This year's draft is loaded with talent. With Jerry Reese's history, I have no doubt that the Giants will come away with 3 excellent picks in the first 3 rounds regardless with who they go with. Expect surprises tonight, and it should be fun. So, as I opened in the title, I will close, "With the 15th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the New York Giants Select..." Wait and see.
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