Saturday, May 2, 2015

Giants play it safe with a solid draft

The New York Giants have plenty of needs in 2015. They have an offensive line that is in tatters, have no running game, and have seen their secondary get thinner and thinner thanks to free agency. The obvious answer for Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin is to try to supplement those needs in the draft, and the Giants have done that to the best of their ability.

In the first round, New York selected Ereck Flowers, a monstrous offensive lineman from the University of Miami who is going to slide into the Giants need at right tackle. The past two seasons, the Giants have started 2013 first round pick Justin Pugh at tackle, but he was always a better fit at guard. Big Blue can now move him inside, and put the 330 pound Flowers at tackle. They say he's a better run blocking tackle than a passing blocking tackle, but in a honesty what's the difference? The Giants have been horrible at running the football the past few years, and need to run the ball better to take the load of pressure that is on Eli Manning's shoulders. This is a great pick, and I am sure Flowers will develop better pass blocking skills as he gets older.

In the second round, the Giants didn't wait long to make a splash when they traded the 40th pick in the draft and two late round picks to Houston to jump up to the top of the second round to nab safety Landon Collins.

The Giants desperately needed safety help after Antrelle Rolle, Quentin Demps and Stevie Brown all left the team in the off-season, creating a huge hole at the position. Not to mention New York was the worst in the NFL in yards allowed per rush, and worst in the league in yards after first contact. That is as much  condemnation on the front seven as it is the safety help over top. Most teams need that safety in the box who can deliver a big blow to a running back to shut him down. The Giants believe Collins, who led Alabama with 103 tackles, can be that player at free safety.

New York wasn't done adding to their secondary. In the fifth round the Giants drafted former Texas safety Mykkele (Yes, that's how it's spelled) Thompson to add depth the secondary. Not much is available on him, other than he played 52 games in four years in Texas.

Before the drafting of Thompson the Giants also drafted Owamagbe Odighizuwa (say that 5 times fast), a pass rushing defensive end out of UCLA. The Giants were in need of a pass rusher for some time now as they have seen the likes of Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora move on with their NFL careers. The Giants needed someone to pair up with Justin Pierre-Paul who can take some of the double-teams he faces away. Last season Odighizuwa had 11.5 tackles for loss and six sacks for the Bruins. This will be a developmental project the Giants hope pays off big time.

Draft Grade: A- The Giants answered some major needs by getting some help at safety and the offensive line. They could still use another running back, a receiver and a cornerback, but you can't get everything in one draft.

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