2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Determined Giants on the defensive as draft nears

By TOM CANAVAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-22 10:53

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The biggest reason the New York Giants missed the playoffs last season was defense.

The unit that helped Tom Coughlin's crew win its second Super Bowl in five years in February 2012 was among the NFL's worst last season

The defensive line didn't get to the quarterback as much, and it certainly didn't stop the run. The linebackers were ineffective and the secondary had trouble covering receivers.

In the end, New York lost two of its final three games and finished 9-7.

So, heading into the NFL draft on Thursday, look for the Giants to fill many holes on defense in the seven rounds.

That doesn't mean, of course, that general manager Jerry Reese will use the 19th pick overall to take a defensive player. Reese has always been a ``best player available'' selector and New York also has needs on an aging offensive line, particularly at right tackle where David Diehl is coming off a sub-par season and center David Baas and guard Chris Snee had offseason surgery.

New York's first-round decisions over the last three years haven't always been ``need'' choices. When they took defensive end in Jason Pierre-Paul in 2010, they were loaded with defensive lineman. Cornerback Prince Amukamara was a bit of a need in 2011 - with defensive back Terrell Thomas coming off a knee injury - while running back David Wilson was a bit of a surprise last season because Ahmad Bradshaw entrenched as the starter at the time.

Reese believes the league has evolved in recent years and draft picks are being asked to do more.

``We don't like picking 19. That is early for us,'' Reese said. ``We hate picking this high. But hopefully, we can get a player who can come in - I always say this (with) your first three picks - and contribute right away. Hopefully, you will get a couple of starters out of them. Hopefully, we will get a good player at 19. I think we will.''

So who do the Giants take?

If New York picks a defensive lineman, it could take a gamble on Tank Carradine of Florida State. He missed the last two games of the season after tearing a knee ligament, but before the injury, his numbers were impressive (80 tackles, 11 sacks). And keep in mind, Reese has never been afraid to take a player coming off an injury.

``I think modern medicine, the modern technology of getting these guys back on the field I think is so much better than it has been in the past,'' Reese said. ``You see guys with these catastrophic injuries come back much quicker and much more successful than they have done in the past. So we look at it a little different but our doctors make the call on that.''

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell should get help on his line with dual-threat Mathias Kiwanuka expected to play more up front instead of at linebacker. Either way, thought, New York has a major need at linebacker, as well. Michael Boley was released and middle linebacker Chase Blackburn signed with Carolina as a free agent.

The most interesting name available in the draft is Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, who led the Fighting Irish to the national championship game. He had a subpar game against Alabama, and then was involved in a bizarre hoax featuring an online girlfriend.

Still, this is a player who led Notre Dame in tackles and had seven interceptions. The late George Young, a former general manager of the Giants, always looked at production when evaluating a player, and Te'o produced.

He also visited with Reese.

``He is a very nice young man,'' Reese said. ``And that is all I can really tell you about the conversation that we had with him. He did a good job while he was here.''

With former first-round safety Kenny Phillips signing with Philadelphia, there is a bit of a hole at defensive back and New York might be interested if Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro slips. The cornerback position is more a concern, though, and Xavier Rhodes of Florida State would be a good choice.

Alabama has two good offensive linemen in the draft pool. Tackle D.J. Fluker played on the last two national championship teams and is an outstanding run blocker. Guard Chance Warmack played on three title teams, and the big surprise would be if he was still around when it's New York's turn.

Reese said receiver Victor Cruz's contract talks with the team will not affect the draft. The Giants allowed Cruz to test the free agent market by making him a first-round tender, but no other team offered him a deal. He can play for roughly $2.9 million, but wants a long-term deal. He has been absent from the team's voluntary offseason program.

``We are just going to pick the best player out there,'' Reese said. ``And if Victor is not here we have other receivers - it is all about the team for us. One player doesn't make your team.

``So if Victor is not here, there are other receivers here.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

Roddy WhiteJul 24 08:33a

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him under team control for the next five years, according to sources.

Donald ThomasJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) and OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps, biceps) have been cleared to practice.

Josh GordonJul 24 08:23a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will have his appeal hearing for his one-year suspension Aug. 1.

Greg OlsenJul 24 01:43a

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he is tired of hearing criticism about Carolina's new receiving corps, which is largely made up of journeymen and unproven commodities. Olsen added [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 24 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, which likely would lead to a decision on any discipline for Smith.

Anthony BarrJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see [ More ]

Sharrif FloydJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. 'Sharrif has a lot of [ More ]

C. PattersonJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. 'We want our best players to get their hands on [ More ]

Montell OwensJul 23 11:23p

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is [ More ]

Harrison SmithJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. 'That will be interesting, [ More ]

Matt CasselJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach [ More ]

Chad GreenwayJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're [ More ]

Troy NiklasJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Dan WilliamsJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Johnny ManzielJul 23 10:23p

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. 'I think he knows that in order to compete well, [ More ]

Theo RiddickJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development [ More ]

Joique BellJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be [ More ]

Jed CollinsJul 23 10:23p

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Cheta OzougwuJul 23 07:23p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) cleared waivers and was transferred to the Saints' Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, July 23.

Billy WinnJul 23 06:53p

The Cleveland Browns placed OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed), DE Billy Winn (undisclosed) and LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) on the non-football injury list Wednesday, July 23.

Kyle OrtonJul 23 06:33p

Free-agent QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) does not want to retire and wants to play in 2014, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Conner VernonJul 23 06:23p

The Cleveland Browns placed CB Royce Adams, LB Brandon Magee and WR Conner Vernon on the no-recall waivers list Wednesday, July 23.

Terrance WestJul 23 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed) said on his Twitter page that he passed his conditioning test and people need to 'stop making up your [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group