2010 NFL Mock Draft, Fans' Picks Edition: No. 15 - New York Giants
It hasn't been a particularly busy offseason for the Giants. They made a splashy move early by signing Antrel Rolle to fill a major need at safety and then added Deon Grant as further insurance in case Kenny Phillips can't make it back, but otherwise the stage has belonged to their co-tenants at the new Meadowlands football stadium.
That puts a good bit of pressure on the draft to provide an infusion of help to a defense that struggled badly last season. The Giants gave up 40 or more points five times during the 2009 season and rarely resembled the unit that spurred the team to Super Bowl glory in 2008. There's a new defensive coordinator in Perry Fewell, now they just need some new bodies to spur the team back to previous heights.
Defense isn't the only need, however. The Giants were blessed with stability on an offensive line that's been largely intact since 2005. Right tackle Kareem McKenzie was neither healthy nor effective last season, though, and left guard Rich Seubert also looks like he's reached the end of the line. The first round is larded with good-looking tackles and there are a couple of interior linemen worthy of consideration as well.
The caveat to all of this is that, under both Jerry Reese and his mentor Ernie Accorsi, the Giants have long opted for the best available player instead of filling needs via the draft. Might that mean a running back to help ease Brandon Jacobs out the door? Let us know what you think the Giants should do later this month.
Previous Pick: Seattle -- Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma; Next Up: Tennessee
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Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri -- The Big Blue linebacking corps has seen their level of athleticism drop rapidly over the last couple of years, which makes Weatherspoon an attractive option in the absence of Rolando McClain. He's got the ideal blend of size and speed to play outside in their 4-3 look, and he's versatile enough to slide inside in Fewell's scheme.
Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida -- The Giants got away from their physical, run-oriented approach in 2009. That's not the worst thing given the presence of Eli Manning and a talented receiving crew, but regaining balance is important and Pouncey would help them do that while helping to move Seubert out of the starting lineup.
Mike Iupati, G, Idaho -- See Pouncey and repeat. Either of the talented interior linemen would help restore the Giants' former dominance in the trenches and help their offense to the next level over the seasons to come.
Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State -- Again, there are bigger needs, but Matthews is the total package at running back and the Giants have to at least consider the possibility that Jacobs won't rebound to his previous levels of productivity. Matthews can run, catch and block well enough to be an every down contributor on the Giants offense.
Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State -- He'd probably play tackle for the Giants, where he'd help to juice up a pass rush that disappeared last season. With Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka on the outside, Odrick could take advantage of blocking mismatches and bring the thunder back to the defensive front at the Meadowlands.