New York Giants Off-Season Needs

With 10 overall picks in this years 2009 NFL draft, the NY Giants would appear to be well-positioned to fill areas of need, either via the draft, or thru trade. While the latter is not their normal mode of operation, there are a couple of possibilities out there that seem to make sense, particularly at the wide receiver position which is an issue due to the release of Plaxico Burress and the decision to not bring back Amani Toomer for his 14th season.

Who might be available in trade

Both the Browns with Braylon Edwards and the Cardinals with Anquan Boldin have let it be known that they would listen to all offerings involving their respective pass-catchers. Arizona would first prefer to re-sign the hard-nosed Boldin, but will entertain offers nonetheless. Edwards, the third overall pick in the 2005 draft, is just 26 years old and is a huge target at 6'3 and 215 pounds. Both players fit the bill for the Giants in need of a number 1 wide-out. Boldin is tough and had 89 catches with 11 touchdowns in only 12 games last year. Rumors have Arizona asking for a 1st round selection plus a lower pick for him, with the Giants, Eagles, and Dolphins apparently having the most interest. Cleveland's Edwards did not have a great season last year, however he did put up some similar numbers to Buress- 3.4 catches per game to 3.8 catches, and 54.5 yards receiving per game vs. 50.5 receiving yards per. Browns are said to be asking for 2 high draft picks in exchange for the receiver. The Giants have a surplus of picks in the first 3 rounds, as they hold 5 choices in the first 100 selections.

No deal?

If a trade for either of the above mentioned players is not orchestrated prior to the draft on Saturday April 25th, the Giants would in all likelihood look at the wide receiver position as a priority with their first selection, the 29th overall pick in the draft.

College pass-catchers

Assuming Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin, as arguably the top 2 rated receivers in this draft are gone by the time the Giants select, some of the players New York may look to at this position include Hakeem Nicks from North Carolina, Percy Harvin of Florida, Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Kenny Britt, the Big East's all-time leading receiver from Rutgers. It should be noted that Harvin is a speedy playmaker who can also return punts. From a physical standpoint, Britt of the Scarlet Knights, at 6'4 and 215 pounds resembles the tall-type of receiver the Giants lost in Burress, who was 6'5, while his hometown of Bayonne plus the college locale of the Rutgers campus makes him very much, a "local favorite". As a possible dark-horse, albeit probably not as a number 1 pick, is Brian Robiskie from Ohio State, who has the pedigree, the size, and the mental make-up to be a solid contributor at this level.

Tight ends

Reliable Kevin Boss is the starter and he does most things well, especially finding the end zone where he had 6 touchdowns last year. A compliment here might be a faster route runner who could stretch the defense and also give the Giants a nice 2 tight end set option. James Casey of Rice had a great combine as only 2 other tight ends were faster than his 4.66 40, only one had a higher vertical leap, while no tight end topped his 28 reps in the bench press. Casey had 111 catches averaging 12 yards per reception, plus 13 touchdowns for the Owls last season.

Linemen for the O

For the Giants, this group is considered one of the strengths of the team and they have their core group signed for the next couple of years. However, Dave Diehl is a natural guard who is playing left tackle while Kareem McKenzie and Shaun O'Hara are in their 9th and 10th years respectfully. So it would not be a stretch if New York looked at possibly a left tackle so Diehl could move back to his guard position. Tackles that might be available here would include Michael Oher from Ole Miss, S.E.C. First-teamer Phil Trautwein of Florida, and Eben Britton, who has played both tackle positions at Arizona.

Running Back and O-Line

Pro Bowler Thomas Jones is 30 years old and did not participate in mini-camp. Behind him is Leon Washington who is primarily a 3rd down back who out of the backfield, only averages about 7.5 touches, rushes and receptions, per game. Some semblance of depth is needed to be worked into this rotation since after the aforementioned duo, there is very little to speak of. Nick Mangold is a Pro Bowl center who anchors a line returning 5 starters that played well together last season. Alan Faneca and Damien Woody are in their 12th and 11th years respectfully, so depth is needed here. Like the running back position, after the starters, there isn't much to talk about.


Finding a starter here would seemingly be another priority need for New York in this year's draft. Antonio Pierce faltered and wore down in the latter part of the year, so concern is there inside, as well as the strong-side outside spot where Danny Clark could stand to be challenged as a starter. Off-season acquisition Michael Boley should solidify the weak-side backer position as New York hopes that after being a non-starter last year, Boley reverts to his form from 2007 when he had 100+ tackles, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. Personnel that would interest the Giants at this position might include the powerful Brain Cushing from USC, who can play all 3 linebacker spots at 255 pounds, and a couple of players with great athletic pedigree; Clay Matthews also from Southern Cal, whose father and uncle played 19 seasons in the league, and Ohio State's James Laurinaitis, son of former pro wrestler "Animal" of "The Road Warriors" fame.

Running back, safety, and pickups

New York lost Derrick Ward to free agency while they cut Reuben Droughns, so depth at this position would be in order as the draft progresses. Signing C.C. Brown helps the secondary but additional competition here would warrant middle round looks as well. Besides Boley and Brown, New York also signed defensive linemen Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty adding quality depth to an already strong first line of defense.


This is a talented team who should be able to fill in the needed pieces necessary for a return to post-season play and a possible long run in the playoffs.

-Lenny Moretti for

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