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.





33 comments
Anthony Gaetano DeCesare
Anthony Gaetano DeCesare

what's the next BS story that's going to come out....that the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks are having trade discussions where the Knicks trade the 4th pick to the Miami Heat for Wade and the 10th pick??? give me a break will ya...

dwfan
dwfan

some idiot is somehow hacking into knicks blog and posting giants crap, and yes they are crap as well

rico
rico

Is Jim Barnett's nickname "Not Dick"? 

rico
rico

I'm guessing Barnett is an old friend of Phil's.  Can't dispute that Phil is a great basketball mind but if he is an effective executive is quite different.  Sometimes I wonder if they hired a 17 year old kid to put the team together if it would be better than what the "Basketball God Genius's" cobble together?  just saying' 

frankly
frankly

I've heard that the Knicks have about $26M in salary cap space available. With Stoudamire and Bargnani out why shouldn't the space be around $35M? It may take that much to get top FA's and a decent bench. Are the Knicks pulling a Yankee's at trying to stay under the leagues salary cap?

starksoakmase
starksoakmase

@frankly depends on if they keep some of the guys that have team options like Acy and Galloway and if they keep the 4 pick.


nba and mlb not really comparable regarding caps....hard v soft cap..

upstater
upstater

All this criticism is premature. Jackson hasn't had the time to do anything ... yet. His goal this season was to dump old guys and open up space. He's done that. Nobody was going to give up anything good for Smith and Shumpert. Ending up with the 4th draft pick was just bad luck. So let's see what his FA haul is before criticizing. Team could well be a playoff contender next year and if so, he'll have done what he was asked to do.

mrgrey
mrgrey

Agreed. This team needs some stability. Something they could have had with Donnie Walsh if not for a certain owner. Let's see what Phil's vision can accomplish without the owner interfering.

starksoakmase
starksoakmase

@upstater that's not true, why trade for calderon then. And I wouldn't call smith and Iman "old guys"


I any event, he should have been able to dump smith's contract and been able to hold on to iman as a piece to include in a deal to dump calderon

dwfan
dwfan

TRIED TO WRITE AVAZZANO@ but there is no such email address. is this site a joke or is it real?

dwfan
dwfan

@dwfan wrote to complain about all the giant crap here on a knicks blog, no such email address

M&M; Consultants
M&M; Consultants

Phil will turn this around. When did this site become Giants blog. 

RivDim
RivDim

Phil inherited a 37 win team, which won 54 games and its division the year before. He'd have to lead the Knicks to at least a respectable 50 wins to be considered to have turned things around.

avzensport
avzensport

His two best moves so far:


Signing Galloway from D-League who could be a decent bench player. 

Trading Prigioni for 2 - 2nd rd picks


Everything else was a failure to date. 


I give him a grade of "D-". That is very generous probably. I'm grading on a curve.


If he does something great this off-season he can change our minds. I am praying he gets it right.

BronsonSNY
BronsonSNY

@avzensport Don't leave out Shved who was quite the revaluation averaging 16ppg while showing good dribble penetration and passing abilities;or Ledo who might have a better skillset than either Mudiay or Russell with a knack for shooting the perimeter J, driving to the bucket and putting people on skates at age 22 in a condensed time frame of 20-games; how about Amundson, Galloway and Thomas? Guys who gave Melo and the team life when they were inserted into the starting lineup and rotation; actually making run for the 8th seed before the all-star break and Melo's surgery; also don't forget signing a guy like TA who did have a good showing in the D-league with the potential to be a standout; What about ridding the team of JR and Shump's contracts -- two guys who weren't doing jack for the Knicks but hogging cap space; What about Getting rid of burdensome contracts of Tyson and Felton, with a guy in calderon who actually looked decent with Melo, Amundson, Galloway and Thomas. Phil did a lot right in his first year with a ton with little leeway.

starksoakmase
starksoakmase

So far Phil has been pretty bad as president. The trade for calderon was an abject failure. We r stuck with a guy right now who at 35 looks done and is owed 8m/year instead of one year more of felton at 3m/year. terrible.


then he gives the cavs 2 pieces that will help them probably win the title for NOTHING!!!! disaster.


phil has a lot to prove this offseason and need to take a big leap with no picks next year.


Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

Bro the cavs only needed one piece and that's lebron James.

starksoakmase
starksoakmase

@Mike Dell Italia i guess that's why they won last year and should have lost it the year before if not for bosh's rebound and allen's shot after several lebron misses.....

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.

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.

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

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).

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

@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.

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.