The New York Giants fan base knows how important the 2015 NFL Draft is. The team needs to be rebuilt. It is not a word we like to throw out there, but the Giants have problems that won’t magically disappear.
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The Giants have an overwhelming lack of talent at key positions of their depth chart. They have an overwhelming lack of depth at many positions as well, this was evident in the 2014 season with all the injuries they had. This team needs to be rebuilt.
Like a brick house has to be constructed brick by brick, this team needs to be constructed step by step. It is not something that happens just because you want it, rebuilding a winning football franchise requires hard work and a plan.
Luckily the foundation is still in tact in New York. Eli Manning remains thefranchise quarterback. He has an exciting group of weapons around him and an up and coming genius offensive coordinator in Ben McAdoo. Tom Coughlin still steers the ship. The rebuilding doesn’t have to be a trying process, but it has to happen.
The first step is to fix the defense. I have drilled this point home before and I am not afraid to do it again. Defense is what separates the great teams from the good teams. Winning a championship is almost impossible without a defense that can hold its own.
What is the point of scoring 28 points a game, which the Giants will be capable of, if the defense gives up 35? The defense is priority number one for that reason. The Giants offense hit a stride in 2014, they were a top ten offense. Yet they only won six games. Chew on that for a bit and tell me how the Giants can have any thing prioritized over the defense?
Now that we have our first priority determined, we need to actually fix the defense. The 2015 NFL Draft is a perfect way to do this. Imagine drafting two or three defensive starters that can change everything for this team. The Giants must draft a great defensive lineman, a leader at the linebacker position and a strong safety.
Nov 15, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Landon Collins (26) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
So how are the Giants going to get this done? With the 9th overall pick, the Giants must take the best player from these 3 position groups. Let’s say for the sake of this conversation that the Giants draft the strong safety from Alabama, Landon Collins.
Collins is very much a worthy candidate for the 9th overall selection. In a draft class where you can get a good pass rusher later and where you can get a starting inside linebacker in the 2nd or 3rd round, Collins is the priority. Collins is a difference making strong safety who will help the team stop both the ground attack and an aerial assault.
Collins would be a fan favorite immediately because of his enforcer playing style.
In the second round the Giants could improve the second level of their defense by drafting a starting middle linebacker.
Jon Beason cannot be counted on to be the answer at this position, he is rather injury prone. Imagine that the Giants draft Eric Kendricks in the second round (not at all an unrealistic scenario).
Sep 13, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Eric Kendricks (6) in action against the Texas Longhorns at AT&T Stadium. The Bruins beat the Longhorns 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
With just two draft picks, the Giants have just laid two major bricks down that will rebuild the defense. The signing of Kenrick Ellis relieves some of the need at defensive tackle. The 3rd round selection could therefore be used on an offensive lineman or a pass rusher.
Now this hypothetical draft scenario is not how the Giants have to rebuild the team. There are several scenarios that would work. The point is that this team has to be rebuilt and the best place to start is the defense.
Not every problem a 6-10 football team has can be solved in one offseason. The job for the Giants brass is simply to make the most out of what they actually do. With the Giants first two draft picks, they can dramatically rebuild the defense. The team may not be rebuilt into the pillar of greatness it once was by the kickoff of the 2015 season. That being said, fixing the defense is a pretty good start.