ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. came out Monday with his initial 2013 NFL Mock Draft, and Kiper agrees, for now, with SB Nation draft analyst Dan Kadar. He has the Giants selecting LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery with the 19th overall selection of the first round.
It was just a year ago at this time when we considered the pass rush a major strength of the Giants, with an emerging Pierre-Paul and veterans Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. But while JPP is now among the best 4-3 defensive ends in the league, the latter two will both be north of 30 by the time the draft arrives -- Umenyiora may not be around next season, and it could be the final year for Tuck in New York. If the Giants want to keep the defensive line a strength, a proven, high-motor defender with pass-rushing skills such as Montgomery would make a lot of sense.
No matter what you think of Kiper we know everyone who cares about the draft pays attention to his opinion. This is just further evidence that draft analysts see defensive end as a need area for the Giants.