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10 questions as the draft approaches

Here are 10 Giants-related questions to ponder as the NFL Draft approaches.

1. Will Michael Strahan retire?
It sure would be nice to know before the draft, but GM Jerry Reese is not expecting a decision soon. I would think the Giants will draft a linebacker early either way, at least giving themselves the option of moving Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end.

2. Will the Giants trade Jeremy Shockey?
We have been discussing this a lot lately. As I've said, if Shockey is going to whine and be a distraction, I say move him. In the end, I don't think Reese will unless he gets overwhelmed. Even if Shockey gets traded I'm not sure drafting a tight end is necessary. It would be nice, though, to pick up a couple of extra draft choices.

3. Can Reese do it again?
Reese's 2007 draft was, of course, magical. All eight of his choices made the team, and seven contributed heavily to the Super Bowl championship. I don't think you can expect perfection again, but I disagree vehemently with the assertion that this draft isn't that important for the Giants. One bad draft can affect your franchise for years. So, every draft is critical.

4. What do the Giants think of Corey Webster?
Webster, of course, was a bust for most of his first three seasons. We know, though, that he became the team's best cover cornerback during their title run. Do the Giants believe he is that good, or do they believe he will revert to the form he showed prior to last season's playoffs? How long Reese waits to draft a cornerback will answer that question.

5. Jerod Mayo or Dan Connor?
If the Giants take a linebacker in the first round, these are the two guys who could be available with the 31st pick. Mayo, from Tennessee, and Connor, Penn State, are so close NFL Draft Countdown ranks them 28th and 29th, respectively, on its draft board.

6. What about the safety position?
Kenny Phillips is the best safety on the board according to every ranking service I can find. The Giants have a need there, and if Phillips is available he's a guy Reese would be hard-pressed to pass. But, what if he's not? Do you reach for another safety? Some services show Reggie Smith (Oklahoma), DaJaun Morgan (North Carolina State) or Tyrell Johnson (Arkansas State) as possible first-rounders. Phillips, though, is the only one everyone agrees on. Sounds to me like any of these other guys is a real first-round reach.

7. Is left tackle a priority?
I say no. David Diehl is not a natural left tackle, but did a terrific job there last year and can handle the position for the foreseeable future. Unless a tackle like Boston College's highly-touted Gosder Cherilus falls to the Giants I would not use an early pick here.

8. Should the Giants draft a QB in the middle or late rounds?
If the Giants had not signed David Carr to compete with Anthony Wright and Jared Lorenzen for slots behind Eli Manning my guess is they would definitely take a QB somewhere from the 4th round on. They still might, since none of the guys behind Eli inspires a ton of confidence.

9. What about wide receiver?
This seems like a perennial question for the Giants. Plaxico Burress is, of course, one of the best. Steve Smith, last year's No. 2 pick, looks like a keeper. You have to wonder, though, if Amani Toomer has much left, or if Sinorice Moss will ever give the Giants anything. It seems like the Giants take a receiver in every draft. I'm just really curious to see how early Reese takes one this year.

10. Is there a must-have guy worth trading up for?
I don't usually advocate trading up for players. That usually means surrendering draft picks, and if you wind up missing on the guy you went for you hurt your team's overall depth significantly. If the Giants think Phillips is a guy they have to have he is the only one who tempts me this year. I think, though, that I would rather see the Giants stay right where they are and let Reese work his magic.