New York Giants Team Needs: Draft Wrap Up
Leading up to the draft, there was wide speculation on who the Giants would take in the first round because they had so many needs. The Giants did the most with their six picks in the draft, but there were some other positions they did not address.
Here’s a look at the positions the Giants did not address in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Without question, the right side of the Giants offensive line struggled last season in pass protection and run blocking. In particular Marshall Newhouse, who was playing on his 3rd team in 3 seasons, struggled mightily.
If the Giants had drafted Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil in the first round then he or Ereck Flowers, or Justin Pugh could play right tackle. But instead, the Giants elected to draft cornerback Eli Apple in the first round. The Giants also passed up on acquiring an offensive tackle in the second round when they took wide receiver Sterling Shepard, instead of Indiana offensive tackle Jason Spriggs. Cornerback and wide receiver were two needs the Giants had to address and Apple and Shepard should make an immediate impact so you can’t fault the selections. But, it was surprising to see the Giants not take an offensive tackle with any of their six picks in the draft.
The Giants know they must protect Eli Manning or the 2016 season will be another disappointing one. To address the right side of the offensive line, the Giants may bring back Will Beatty who is still a free agent and have him play left tackle, and have Ereck Flowers or Justin Pugh play right tackle.
Yes, the Giants did address the defensive end position in resigning Jason Pierre-Paul to a one year contract, and signing free agent Olivier Vernon. But when the Giants won two Super Bowls over the past decade, they had three or four pass rushing specialist that could wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
Some thought Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson would have been a great fit for the Giants in round one, but the Giants passed on Lawson. When it was time for the Giants to pick in the second round, Lawson’s college teammate Kevin Dodd had already been taken by the Tennessee Titans, and the Giants passed on taking Boise State defensive end Kamalei Correa.
The Giants reasoning for not taking a pass rusher in the draft is they’re expecting big things from their last year third round pick, Owa Odighizuwa. Odighizuwa barely saw the field last year and had only three tackles. When the Giants drafted Oighizuwa, they thought he could be the second coming of Osi Umenyiora. The Giants hope Odighizuwa can make a huge jump in his second year like Umenyiora did when he went from 20 tackles and one sack in his rookie year, to 58 tackles and seven sacks in his second.
If the Giants are not satisfied with these positions during training camp or the preseason, they may look to trade one of their running backs to upgrade at these positions.
Jason Leach is an analyst for Pro Football Spot for the New York Giants for @pfspot. Follow him on Twitter @JasonKLeach