Sizing up the 2014 Giants on defense

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

In a continuation of yesterday’s article on the offense, we take a crack at the Giants’ defensive depth chart. Keep in mind, free agency is still ongoing and the draft will certainly add a few more names to the list.

Defensive Tackle

Cullen Jenkins (starter), Markus Kuhn, Jonathan Hankins, Mike Patterson. Only four with the addition of Patterson this week.  Jenkins is still a top tackle, Patterson was a space-eater last year and the Giants are expecting positive things from Hankins and Kuhn. They will not deter them from adding another player or two before camp. One could certainly be Pitt’s Aaron Donald, who the Giants would be fortunate to get their hands on in the draft.

JPPDefensive End

Jason Pierre-Paul (starter), Damontre Moore, Mathias Kiwanuka, Robert Ayers. If everyone is healthy, this group has the potential to create havoc. JPP will be one starter (RDE) and depending on health, Damonster or Kiwi will get the nod at LDE. Ayers will be sprinkled into the rotation, perhaps more on rushing downs. Jenkins can also slide over over in a pinch. The club may seek another body here, where they’ll find him is anyone’s guess at this time. It took a long time to bring Ayers in, so they’re more likely to draft a DE than sign a free agent.

Linebacker

Jon Beason (MLB), Spencer Paysinger (WLB), Jameel McClain (SLB); Jacquian Williams, Mark Herzlich, Allen Bradford, Kendrick Adams, Spencer Adkins. More quantity than quality here. Beason and Paysinger carried the water for the unit last year as the Giants employed a nickel package over their base defense in most games. McClain should help by taking on some reps and the Giants are also hoping Williams finally stays healthy for a full season. He, Bradford and Herzlich are basically backups and special teamers. The Giants will look for more quality in the draft and scour the UDFA market afterward, but once again, it will be a draft that fails to produce a star LB.

Safety

Antrel Rolle, Will Hill (starters); Stevie Brown, Cooper Taylor, Quentin Demps, Chaz Powell. A solid group here that probably won’t be added to before the season unless something drastic happens. They might run into a prospect in the draft they can’t pass up, however. Keep in mind Rolle is a UFA after this season, Hill has a history of getting suspended and Brown is coming off a lost season (ACL). The club may feel they need to pre-empitvely insure themselves.

Cornerback

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Prince Amukamara (starters); Walter Thurmond, Trumaine McBride, Jayron Hosley, Zack Bowman,  Junior Mertile, Charles James, LaRon Scott, Travis Howard.  There’s an old adage that you can’t have enough corners and the Giants have heeded that message. The addition of DRC, Thurmond and Bowman have really made this unit a strength. But don’t be shocked if the Giants look to pile on if a player to their liking comes along.


Synopsis: A defensive scheme that one relied heavily on it’s vaunted pass rush has evolved into a more balanced unit. The Giants have fortified their back seven and will continue to tweak it going forward. The defensive line has a full compliment of talented players but the consensus is that a pass rusher or difference maker will be brought aboard in the upcoming draft.




14 comments
bleedblue4
bleedblue4

Never draft a DT in the first rd it would be stupid. The truth here is there really are many ways to go here. The best way way to go is to trade back. Pick up an additional pick or two. If you move back 4-6 spots Donald,Lean,Benjiman,Ebron etc etc one if jot two of these guys will still be there.

With picking up the additional pick or two you can either try to trade back into the first rd grabbing another very talented player. Or you start filling holes. For example if you get an extra 2nd draft Nicholas and OT James. All depending what you draft in the first.

To finally get this team going in the right direction it needs talented depth. The best thing this team can do is move back and grab more picks.

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

With that back 7, the DLine will have that extra second to get to the QB. I don't see a reason to select defense unless every major offensive talent is gone at 12. The 3OL, Watkins, Evans and Ebron (his stock is falling so I am not sure I would take him at 12). If none of those players are there, I think the GMen should do the following:

1) trade out of 12 - take less if need be. My guess is if all those players are gone, then 1 of those QBs has begun to tumble and someone might trade up here.

2) take Donald - have to assume he is still available unless the QBs drop.

3) draft Gilbert or Dennard - Can't ever have enough and only DRC is on the 2015-2016 roster at CB.

4) gamble on Benjamin or Ebron - the draft is about taking high upside talent. Both can be Homeruns or big busts. I'd risk it if all else fails.

mcfly
mcfly

Back 7 is good, it's the front 4 that needs work. If Moore and Hankins pan out it would solve a lot of problems, but we can't rely on that.

pat
pat

Donald=Rich Glover

rico
rico

Is Osi still available?

bigheadblu
bigheadblu

If Donald is available  at12 best pick, if he is not available trade back  p/u Zack Martin  plus additional 2nd or 3rd rounder p/u wide receiver or tight end.

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

The Giants lost their best pass rusher from 2013 (Tuck) from a group that was pretty lousy at rushing the passer.  I was pretty stunned that they didn't make a run at Bennett.  Maybe they knew he was going back to Seattle.

Even so, they really need JPP to bounce back and for one of the other ends to provide a solid rush if he's double teamed.  Otherwise, opposing QBs are going to have a lot of time to throw the ball.

As much as I'd love to have a stud tackle or Evans fall to the Giants at 12, I'm hoping that Donald or Barr slips to give the Giants another pass rusher.  With the depth in the secondary, that's the big hole in the defense at the moment.

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

I feel like the fans have had this conversation about the next DT in line forever. The giants have always had a FA veteran tandem with a young guy:

William Joseph and Fred Robbins replaced Cornellius Griffin/Keith Hamilton

Barry Coefield replaced Joseph.

Marvin Austin to replace Robbins (that didn't work, so they grabbed Canty)

Linval Joseph replaced Coefield and teams with Canty.

Hankins replaces Joseph

They bring in Jenkins to replace Canty. Now this year another vet/youngster combo of Jenkins and Hankins.

I doubt that a DT in round 1 is the pick. Unless everything falls apart 1-11.

David Lopez
David Lopez

 If both Lewan and Donald were available with the 12th pick, whom would you pick?  I could make compelling arguments for both.  

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

Donald or Barr.  I'd be fine with Evans and Lewan (if he clears character checks) as well.  Otherwise, its a secondary player or trade back (if they can).

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

@David Lopez  Donald.  1) No major character issues that I know of, 2) It's very hard to find DTs that can rush the passer.

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

Those two positions would go against everything the GMen have done in the draft for a very long time. When was the last time the Giants picked a DT or LB in the draft in round 1? Since Carl Banks not 1 LB we all know. But they have selected exactly 1 DT since I was born in 1980. And that was William Joseph at 25 in 2003. And that's a lot close to round 2 than 12th overall. And that didn't exactly workout great.

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

@Peter Sinapi Donald is a pass rushing DT and the Giants love to draft pass rushers in round 1.  Barr will play DE.

Also, they drafted an OT last year and that was the first time they had done that for a while as well.


Getting stuck in a mindset and ignoring what is available is a sure way to lose.