So we know that the Giants and GM Jerry Reese organize their draft board via the “highest rated player on the board” philosophy, which helps prevent unsightly reaches during draft day (as well as stretch marks). Still, all indications are that the Giants will be focused on defense, and rightfully so (I am not going to once again go ahead and rant about the defensive deficiencies during the 2009 season which served to cause great tension in my household).
I don’t think anyone will dispute that the G-men have a huge need for faster, more athletic guys on the second level of the defense (middle linebacker, the obvious one, and also I think the Giants will try to bring in another WLB even with last year’s signing of Michael Boley, whose difficulties in stopping the run might give him a short stint in blue).
While we never know quite how the front end of the first round is going to shape up (as we see experts with their annual list of “risers and fallers” start to come out of the woodwork right about now), it is possible that the Giants might find themselves looking at LB Rolando McClain, S Earl Thomas, S Eric Berry, and stud DT Brian Price (not to mention a DE like Derrick Morgan who may get lost in the man-love given to Pierre-Paul).
How high are the Giants on Rolando McClain? (After a brilliant junior year at Alabama, McClain now faces whispers about Nick Saban’s defense covering some of his deficiencies and direct questions about his straight line speed). Complicating things further, McClain backed out of combine drills due to a hamstring issue (yes, the dreaded hammy shows itself again), but he is expected to show his skills at the Alabama Pro Day scheduled for March 10, 2010). One more problem, does McClain really fit the bill as true 4-3 middle linebacker?
Don’t get me wrong, McClain will likely be a fine pro, if not a true play-maker. Also, I still think that Jerry Reese could surprise and go in on a stud offensive lineman (think Mike Iupati, OT Bryan Bulaga, or OT Trent Williams etc…), though I would hope Jerry makes a trade down and adds more picks if he does not go defense first.
I happen to still have a little love for McClain, though is Prod Day looms large. I also think the Giants would be in fine shape with Earl Thomas or Eric Berry. And yes, of course, I want more picks for the Giants in this draft. Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin have both given strong indications that competition for jobs will be fierce this year, let’s bring in the young talent to up the ante. Go Blue!
Stay tuned for Mock Draft 2.0, there will be quite a few changes and surprises!