Posted by Daniel Kahaner on 29th February 2012
A Super Bowl victory may leave a team on top of the world for a few months, but every team, whether they have ice on their fingers or not, must always look to the future in a league where injuries reign supreme as a big part of the game. Anyone can go down at any minute, and the next man up must produce or the team will suffer at that position. The Giants persevered through many significant injuries this season, and won the Super Bowl with several star players on the sidelines. Terrell Thomas and Jonathan Goff both missed the entire season, and the defense suffered because of it until the end of the year.
As great as it was to see the guys behind them on the depth chart step up and produce, one can’t expect this trend to continue year in and year out. So what are the Giants biggest draft needs? Let’s explore.
Jake Ballard, Bear Pascoe, and Travis Beckum got the job done when it mattered most, but are any of these guys the tight end of the future for the Giants? Probably not. Eli Manning already has a slew of young receivers to catch his passes, but if he had a big, athletic tight end taking the pressure off of these guys, the offense would be virtually unstoppable. The Giants could take a tight end with their first pick in the 2012 draft, and have been linked to Dwayne Allen, a tight end from Clemson who has been characterized as extremely athletic and fairly close to NFL ready.
The Giants have several other needs that they must address in the draft, most notably a linebacker and help for the offensive line. There is no doubt that they will miss out on Matt Kalil and Riley Reiff, the two best linemen in the draft, but GM Jerry Reese will almost certainly find hidden talent somewhere in the 2012 class, as he has become known to do.
Winning the Super Bowl automatically gives the Giants the 32nd overall pick, so they will miss out on some of the top talent this year, but at the same time, a few good draft choices will almost certainly bolster an already solid core. With regards to the linebacking situation, the Giants will look to bring back Chase Blackburn and Jonathan Goff, who was sidelined for all of 2011 after tearing his right ACL before the start of the regular season. Goff was projected to have a break out year at middle linebacker.
At the end of the day, winning the Super Bowl will cost the Giants an opportunity to draft some elite talent this year, but with an already championship caliber core, GM Jerry Reese will be able to analyze more carefully the lesser known players in this year’s draft class.