We are now one week away from the 2012 NFL Draft. We have been studying and debating the New York Giants' draft prospects for months now, and the truth is that as the draft closes in there is still no consensus among draft analysts -- or folks here at Big Blue View -- about how the Giants will approach the draft.
The Giants are defending Super Bowl champs and as such get the final pick in the first round, 32nd. They are in the comfortable position of not really needing to land a Day 1 starter in this draft at a particular position. They are in the uncomfortable position of being at the mercy of the other 31 teams before general manager Jerry Reese and the team's other decision-makers see what their options are. I maintain that the Giants could do just about anything with the 32nd pick, except draft a quarterback.
In two parts, I am going to break down possible Giants' draft options for next week. First, after the jump a position-by-position look at the offense.
Quarterback -- I think we can be sure the Giants won't use a first-round pick on a quaterback, or a second-day pick. Third day? Never put it past Reese to grab a quarterback on the third day in hopes of finding a young, long-term backup for Eli Manning. Names to watch: Kellen Moore, Dan DiLella
Running Back -- You guys know what I think of taking running backs in the first round. You can make an argument at 32 for David Wilson of Virginia Tech or Doug Martin of Boise State, but in the end I just don't believe running backs carry enough value in today's NFL to use a first-round pick. You can get good ones anywhere in the draft. Names to watch: Early rounds -- Wilson, Martin, Lavar Miller. Middle Rounds -- Robert Turbin, Cyrus Gray.
Tight End -- We know the deal here. Even after signing Martellus Bennett the Giants could use addition help at this spot. If Coby Fleener is available in the first round best guess is he gets strong consideration. Names to watch: First round -- Fleener. Second day -- Dwayne Allen. Third day -- Evan Rodriguez, Michael Egnew, Ladarius Green.
Wide Receiver -- Mario Manningham is gone, and no one on the Giants roster is a sure thing to step up as the No. 3 receiver. So, this position is definitely in play early in the draft. Receiver is a priority position in the NFL, and you can never have enough play-makers. Names to watch: First round: Stephen Hill Second day: Alshon Jeffery, Mohamed Sanu, Brian Quick. Third day: Nick Toon, Devon Wylie.
Offensive Tackle -- This position, to me, is a definite priority and most draft analysts seem to agree. While there is no consensus on the player, many analysts think the Giants will go best offensive tackle available at 32. Names to watch: First round -- Jonathan Martin, Mike Adams, Bobby Massie (borderline). Second day -- Massie, Kelechi Osemele, Mitchell Schwartz. Third day -- Nate Potter.
Center/Offensive Guard -- I will lump these two positions in together. There is not an urgent need for the Giants here, but the only stud player they have in this area is Chris Snee, and we aren't certain what the future holds for him. So, if the right player falls to the Giants grabbing him is a good idea. If center Peter Konz of Wisconsin is somehow available at 32 he would be tough to pass up. Names to watch: First round -- Konz. Second day -- Amimi Silatolu, Brandon Brooks, Ben Jones. Third day -- Senio Kelemete, Desmond Wynn.
My lists of 'names to watch' are hardly comprehensive. Really just players we have debated or profiled and names that have caught my attention during my study of the draft. As I'm sure you will, feel free to add your own names to the discussion.