May 7, 2013

2013 NFL Draft Review & Season Outlook: New York Giants

#10 Eli Manning, QB, Giants

*Click on a team's logo to go to their draft recap and season outlook page. A few will be posted each day in alphabetical order.

New York Giants
Division: NFC East | Last Season Record: 9-7

What Needed to be addressed in the Draft: The Giants should be back in the playoff mix, but have a few positions they need to address to get back to the postseason.

They desperately need to upgrade at linebacker. Whether it's outside linebacker, inside linebacker, or both, there could be several first or mid-round options.

After losing Osi Umenyiora this off-season, the Giants could target a pass rusher as early as the first round, and should also look to add a defensive back.

Offensive line depth is also needed. With David Diehl being the big question mark, they could choose to upgrade at right tackle in the middle rounds.

2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

Round 1

19. Justin Pugh*, OT/OG
Experience: Junior | School: Syracuse
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 304 lbs.

Analysis: Well, I wasn't totally surprised by this pick, but the Giants could have had either one of the Florida State pass rushers. It was a reach, but the good news, is that Justin Pugh is a versatile lineman who can play all 5 positions on the offensive line. He won't be a dominant player at any of the positions, but should be a solid starter.

Grade: C+

Round 2

49. Johnathan Hankins*, DT
Experience: Junior | School: Ohio State
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 320 lbs.

Analysis: Johnathan Hankins is excellent value in the middle of the second round. Although he doesn't fill an immediate need, only Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin are under contract after this season., so he should be a starter down the line.

Grade: B+

Round 3

81. Damontre Moore*, DE
Experience: Junior | School: Texas A&M
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 260 lbs.

Analysis: Damontre Moore was considered a top 5 pick before the combine. He isn't the flashiest or most athletic player, but he has a great motor and knows how to get to the quarterback.

Grade: A+

Round 4

110. Ryan Nassib, QB
Experience: Senior | School: Syracuse
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 228 lbs.

Analysis: Considering the fact that Ryan Nassib could have been the 8th overall pick, this is a mid-round steal. David Carr isn't the most reliable backup, and Nassib can be traded down the line for a draft pick.

Grade: B+

Round 5

152. Cooper Taylor, SS
Experience: Senior | School: Richmond
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 228 lbs.

Analysis: Cooper Taylor is a big safety prospect who could develop into a starter down the line. The Giants needed safety depth and this is a nice pick.

Grade: B

Round 7

225. Eric Herman, OG
Experience: Senior | School: Ohio
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 320 lbs.

Analysis: Eric Herman was viewed as a potential 6th round prospect, and gives the Giants much needed depth on the interior of their offensive line.

Grade: B+

253. Michael Cox, RB
Experience: Senior | School: Massachusetts
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 222 lbs.

Analysis: Michael Cox was the last running back drafted. There were more notable backs still on the board, but Cox should make the roster and provide decent depth.

Grade: C+

2013 NFL Draft Overall Review:

Analysis: General Manager Jerry Reese is known for having some great drafts. This time around, it's a solid draft in which they filled some needs.

Arguably their biggest need going into the draft was at linebacker. Unfortunately, they failed to address this, which is somewhat disappointing.

However, they added some nice pieces to their defense with players like third round pick Damontre Moore and second round pick Johnathan Hankins. And even though he was a reach in round one, Justin Pugh will be a solid starter for the next decade.

Overall Grade: B

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

Most Notable

Etienne Sabino, OLB
Experience: Senior | School: Ohio State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 244 lbs.

Analysis: Etienne Sabino could have been a late round pick. He could make the roster and give the Giants some much needed depth at linebacker. If he can stay healthy, he could have a nice career.

Other Free Agent Signings

Chase Clement, TE, Louisiana State
Alonzo Tweedy, S, Virginia Tech

2013 Season Outlook:

Analysis: The Giants finished 9-7 last season, but missed the playoffs. With a solid draft, the Giants may have improved enough to be back in the post-season mix.

Eli Manning definitely needs to be more consistent, but he's one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL when the game is on the line. He has 3 very good receivers in Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Rueben Randle. Louis Murphy is also a nice addition. Brandon Myers broke out last season in Oakland, and will try to replace the production of Martellus Bennett at tight end.

The Giants re-signed Will Beatty, which was a great move because he was solid protecting Manning's blindside. The rest of the offensive line returns, although Justin Pugh could start at right tackle instead of David Diehl.

Last year, the Giants had just 33 sacks, but expect Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, and the defensive line as a whole to generate more pressure which will lead to more quarterback take-downs. Rookie Damontre Moore could have a big rookie season as well.

Their current group of linebackers are not very talented, and could be a liability as a unit. Dan Conner is the only notable addition, but hopefully their play improves.

Stevie Brown was a ball-hawking safety who recorded 8 interceptions last year, and he will return as the starter next to Antrel Rolle. At corner they have to improve. Corey Webster was terrible last year, Jayron Hosley struggled as a rookie, and Terrell Thomas can't stay healthy. Prince Amukamara was probably their best defensive back.

2013 Season Projection:

Analysis: New York is currently picking 24th overall in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft. They chose 19th in this year's draft. The Giants are legitimate playoff contenders, and could be the favorites to win the NFC East. They have a shaky secondary, but if they can get better play out of their corners, this team could go a long way.

Projected Record: 9-7 (Worst Case) | 11-5 (Best Case)

Projected Finish: 2nd in the NFC South; Result: Miss the Playoffs