John Fennelly, Lead WriterHere is my latest 2014 three-round draft for the Giants, trying to think like the unpredictable Jerry Reese would:
First Round #12 overall: Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS Alabama (6’1″, 208)
I know, crazy, right? Maybe not. HCD could be the best available at this spot so the Giants would, by nature, select him.
Some things to think about…Antrel Rolle is in the final year of his contract and the Giants have not approached him about an extension. Translation: they could be moving on. Throw in Will Hill’s constant troubles and the fact that Stevie Brown is coming off major knee surgery and your safety group doesn’t look so strong, does it?
Ha-Ha, as he is called, plays very much like Rolle does, but faster. He’s strong in the box, has excellent closing speed, great ball skills and is a renowned hitter. HCD is projected by many to be a Pro Bowl safety for years to come.
It will be tough to pass on several of the other players that will be here, but you only have one pick. This one seems pretty safe to me, with little risk and high reward.
Second Round #43 overall: Jawaun James, OT Tennessee (6’6″, 325)
After the 2013 season everyone agreed to a man the one thing the Giants needed was an offensive tackle. They’ve signed Charles Brown to relieve Will Beatty and Justin Pugh, but they still need a really big, reliable body going forward and James fits that bill to a tee.
Some see James as a third-rounder, but I think he’s underrated and the Giants might bite for him right here. He’s fundamentally sound and you can’t teach size. He’s rising up the board, however, and with any luck, he’s still here at 43.
Third Round #74 overall: Marcus Martin, C USC (6’3″, 310)
The Giants signed veteran JD Walton last month in the hopes that he’s recovered from the ankle injury that held him out for the better part of two seasons. That’s all well and good, but the Giants still need a long term solution at center and Martin, who has been compared to Alex Mack by some, could be the guy.
These three would certainly upgrade the talent level of their respective units. It still doesn’t solve their tight end, defensive tackle or pass rush needs. The facts are, the Giants need a lot right now and as much as they’ve done in free agency, one draft isn’t going to get it all done.
But what it does do is shore up the offensive line and defensive backfield – two glaring problem areas from 2013. Winning the division is the main goal of every team and that always starts by winning games in the division.
The offenses in the NFC East are capable ones and will be better after the draft. The Giants, becoming the Seahawks East, can thwart those passing games with their secondary.
Eli Manning needed a solid line in front of him going into this season. By bringing in James and Martin, along with the free agent signings of Geoff Schwartz and the others, the Giants will have accomplished that.