Now that the 2012 NFL Regular Season is in the books, it’s time to get an early look at the 2013 NFL Draft prospectus for each of the 20 NFL teams who now know their draft position in the first round. We continue with the New York Giants at #19 overall.
Anytime you’re picking in the low teens, it’s a sign that your team is right on the playoff cusp, but just couldn’t get over the hump. It’s no different for the defending Super Bowl champs, who will have to watch helplessly as a new NFL king is crowned. There was plenty of inconsistency to go around for the G-Men this year, starting with QB Eli Manning’s erratic play through the middle part of the season. The team has also endured a slew of injuries in the defensive backfield, allowing opposing offenses to run-and-shoot their way to victory with regularity.
The first direction the Giants should look to in the first round is toward the Cornerback position. This unit has been plagued by inconsistent play and a lack of durability. Terrell Thomas’ knees just can’t seem to hold up, and while Corey Webster showed flashes of brilliance, he went through long droughts of being successfully attacked on a consistent basis. Throw in the continuous disappointment that is former first-rounder Prince Amakumara, and you’ve got a recipe for needing to spend a premium pick on a strong cover man.
To that end, the Giants will be hoping that Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks slides down to their slot. Banks has great size and ball skills, and though he definitely has room for improvement when it comes to his technique in run support, his play-making ability (he returned punts and kicks, as well) and size equivalency to the bigger NFL receivers would make him a great selection. There’s quite a sizable drop-off at the position after Banks is off the board, and it seems a bit of a long-shot that Banks will make it past the Buccaneers at #13. If that’s the case, look for the Giants to go in a different direction, rather than reaching for someone like Oregon’s Jordan Poyer at #19.
The Giants are not afraid to go with the best player available, and they definitely have an affinity for pass-rushers, so don’t be surprised if they pull the trigger at that position, where there is plenty of talent and value. Names like Dion Jordan (Oregon), Cornelius Carridine (Florida State), and Ezekiel Ansah (BYU) – who is similar to Jason Pierre-Paul, as a raw, high-ceiling prospect – would all be possible targets at the 19th pick.