Former Redskins’ GM Charley Casserly, now an NFL Network analyst, was asked this morning about what he still sees as the Giants’ needs going into the NFL Draft.
“I think they have a number,” Casserly said. “Center is a question. J.D. Walton, they’ve signed him, but he’s hasn’t played in a year and a half. I think wide receiver needs depth. Tight end, they’re very young. Defensive tackle, they need some depth there.”
“But, I’ll tell you the number one thing to me is the left tackle position,” he said. “They have got to get that improved. They’ve got to get it stabilized. It affects the whole offensive line, and more importantly, it affects the confidence of Eli Manning.
“This is the draft they’ll be able to get it done.”
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
If the Giants are going to solve the LT issue in 2014, they’re going to have to do one of two things, and they both involve moving incumbent Will Beatty. The first one would be to replace Beatty right now through the draft. There’s wild mocks that have Jake Matthews falling to the Giants and others that have the Giants selecting Taylor Lewan.
The likely scenario would be to swap Beatty (if healthy) with RT Justin Pugh. They have Charles Brown now at the swing position to spell Beatty and they can bring in a middle-round draft pick to groom at tackle. This is a risky plan, however. Pugh handled himself well at RT last season, but asking him to take on LT at this level may end up not being the upgrade they need.
The problem with taking an OT in Round One is that Giants may not be able to pass on Pitt DT Aaron Donald at No. 12. He is a higher-rated player than Lewan and also fills a need. The positive: Donald could turn the Giants into a top-five defense. The negative: Eli is still exposed.
The Giants will probably be on the outside looking in on a quality tackle with their second-rounder, which is the 43rd overall selection. They will probably take the best available player there, too, such as a TE, WR or DE.
So, it appears the Giants will be seeking a tackle anywhere from the third round on. It’s possible they’ll find one. They could get lucky and land Tennessee’s Ja’Waun James, who in many’s eyes is as good as any of the top tackles in the draft.