NEW YORK – The closer we get to the NFL Draft in April, the more analysis you will read about or watch on your television. What we have done here today, is to take the top 15 draft prospects for the New York Giants and list them below. The player names will be in no particular order. Now when I say top 15 prospect, what I mean is information floating around the internet and mock drafts everywhere. Also, included are main stream media breakdowns and nygreporter member input on the area they see as having the most need. All of this information is current as of today 3-2-11.
I have not changed my mind about drafting a true OL/C or LB in round one, although the DT position is starting to look awfully good too. I do not think the team will take a RB or CB in the first round. However, I do think both of those positions will be addressed within the first five rounds. Which of the 21 free agents should the team sign? You have to ask yourself, is the need at LB greater then the need for a new CB? Is filling in a blatant weak spot on the offensive line at Center, a bigger need then getting another RB? Well, I’ll tell you that RB is going to be an issue soon. What the Giants need in my diagnosis is a middle bear. You have Brandon Jacobs as the papa bear big and strong. Then you have Bradshaw as the smaller type RB, what we need now is the middle sized one at 6’0 230 pounds. RB Mikel LaShoure seems to fit that mold perfectly physically but a round one pick?
I love most of the changes that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made. I extremely dislike the changes made to the NFL Draft however. Starting the 1st round of the NFL Draft on a Thursday is a fan failure. Go back to the original format of having it over the weekend. Make it convenient for the working man and family man to get inside Radio City Music Hall with his kids or watch it on TV live. If the CBA talks breakdown for some reason, the NFL Draft will be the highlight of a lockout laden season for many fans. The NFL Combine coverage is great as usual by the way.
As I have mentioned in the past, everyone has an opinion. What you have below is an honest assessment and pool of players of whom I expect one, to be the New York Giants top pick this year. Unless the team makes some drastic transactions for players at certain positions this off season, I would venture to say that the player who will be at training camp in Albany is listed below.
Let’s take a look at the top 15 prospect names and positions.
1. Akeem Ayers, LB – 6’4″ 255 pounds – This guy seems to be one of the top 5 fan favorite picks. You see Ayers name all over the boards but I’m not sure he will be around come the 19th pick the Giants have in round one.
2. Mike Pouncey, OL/C – 6’4″ 310 pounds – Pouncey is a solid player who would also fill a need at the Center position. The G-Men don’t take offensive linemen in the first round very often so this might be a stretch.
3. Tyron Smith, OT – 6’5″ 285 pounds – This guy seems to be a big pick among the draft “experts”. I do not see the Giants taking a OT in the first round when the team has a handful to workout already.
4. Mark Ingram, RB – 5’10″ 215 pounds – Ingram comes from a football family and was named the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. There are a ton of people who think this guy will be one heck of an NFL player. He is the highest rated RB in the draft. Would the Giants trade up for him? Possibly.
5. Anthony Castonzo, OT – 6’7″ 305 pounds – Castonzo is another main stream media favorite. I just don’t see the Giants taking another OT in round one unless they plan on converting him to OL/C.
6. Nate Solder, OT – 6’8″ 314 pounds – Solder is a mix between fan favorite and media pick. He is a huge man and will certainly help out any NFL offensive line, once he gets the pro game down.
7. Nick Fairley, DT – 6’4″ 298 pounds – This is my long shot pick. The Giants would have to give up about 3 picks total to move up and grab Fairley. Getting Fairley is very unlikely to happen but an exciting prospect anyway. He is the top ranked DT in the draft and some would argue that he is the best player available in the entire NFL Draft.
8. Justin Houston, LB – 6’3″ 260 pounds – This is a new guy on my radar and someone the fans have pointed out to me. The Giants are looking for a LB and if this guy is rated high on their boards, Jerry Reese will surely grab him if he’s available. He looks to be a possible hybrid player.
9. Jimmy Smith, CB – 6’2″ 205 pounds – Smith is considered the third best CB in the draft. He has good size and comes from a good program. I’m not sure the team will take a CB in round one.
10. Brandon Harris, CB – 5’11″ 195 pounds – Harris is right behind Smith on the talent chart and if Big Blue takes him in the first round I would be surprised.
11. Aldon Smith, LB – 6’4″ 258 pounds – This is one of the quite guys, staying just below the radar but a guy who could help the Giants. The G-men might have to pull the trigger and grab this kid.
12. Prince Akumamara, CB – 6’0″ 205 pounds – Just like with Fairley, the Giants would have to move up to get the Prince before their 19th pick came around. CB Patrick Peterson should be gone well before this guy too.
13. Corey Liuget, DT – 6’3″ 300 pounds – The 2011 NFL Draft is stacked at the DT position. The talent in round one might be too deep to pass on. The team seems to be preparing for changes at the DT spot this year too over free agency.
14. Marcell Dareus, DT – 6’3″ 309 pounds – Dareus will probably be gone by the 19th pick but you can bet the Giants will take him if he is still around. This guy will plug up the middle for years.
15. Stefen Wisniewski, OL/C – 6’3″ 313 pounds – This is a favorite pick of mine. Some think he will drop to the Giants in round two. I hope he does drop that low because he is a 10 year NFL Center from everything I’ve read. If all 14 names above were taken, do you grab him?
Out of all of the 15 players listed above, please tell me who you would like to see most. Players like Fairly are a long shot, so try to stay reasonable.
RD – nygreporter.com – 1 year anniversary 3-6-11
Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org