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First real look at the Giants' draft needs

Let's talk NFL Draft.

With the re-signing of running back Derrick Ward, and the additions of quarterback David Carr and linebacker Danny Clark you have to think the Giants are done in free agency. That means the team the Giants have today is the one they will enter the April 26-27 draft with.

I'm not going to do a position-by-position team analysis. Instead, I'll just quickly summarize what I see as need areas.


Despite how well the defense played in the Giants run to the Super Bowl championship, there is little question that shoring up this side of the football must be the focus of this draft.

There are glaring needs at safety, cornerback and linebacker. Defensive tackle is a lesser priority, but an area that could use help.

At safety, the Giants have James Butler and Sammy Knight, who are largely placeholders. They also have the still unproven Michael Johnson, and that's it. A safety in the early rounds is a must.

At corner, the Giants have last year's top pick, Aaron Ross, and a slew of question marks. How much do Sam Madison and RW McQuarters have left in the tank. Will the playoff version of Corey Webster show up this season, or will he revert to his earlier unimpressive form? Can Kevin Dockery or Geoffrey Pope be counted on?

At linebacker, the Giants lost two -- Kawika Mitchell and Reggie Torbor -- to free agency, and signed one -- Danny Clark. They think Gerris Wilkinson and Mathias Kiwanuka can handle those outside spots flanking Antonio Pierce, but a big-time playmaking linebacker would be a nice addition. The Giants at least need to add some depth here.

The Giants are decent at defensive tackle with Fred Robbins, Barry Cofield and Jay Alford, but none of those players is a big-time run stuffer. If GM Jerry Reese can find one he should grab him.


Not a lot of needs here, with Ward returning to provide backfield depth and Carr in the fold to provide depth behind Eli Manning.

Two areas I would not be surprised to see the Giants address, though, are wide receiver and the offensive line.

Steve Smith, last year's second-round pick, is going to be a quality player. Amani Toomer is nearing the end of his career, though, and we still aren't sure what to make of Sinorice Moss. Oh, and despite his great Super Bowl catch David Tyree has never been able to grab a job as a consistent part of the offense. So, snagging a wide receiver in the middle to late rounds would not surprise me.

As for the offensive line, there are no obvious needs. Former GM George Young always used to grab big, unpolished lineman in the middle rounds, though, and Reese has a lot of Young in him. You can never have enough of those big studs on the line, so I would think Reese will try to add some depth here.

We will discuss the draft much more during the next several weeks. We will delve into specific draft resources and focus as much as we can on guys who the Giants might be targeting.

For now, what are your thoughts on the need areas I have laid out?