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'Prospecting:' Improving the offensive line

As good as our New York Giants' offensive line is, depth and a little bit of age have to be somewhat of a concern.

Center Shaun O'Hara will be 32, and left guard Rich Seubert and right tackle Kareem McKenzie will both be 30.

There is very little depth behind them. Veteran Grey Ruegamer has not yet re-signed, and the only thing memorable about the few appearances Kevin Boothe was forced to make last season was the size of his considerable backside.

The Giants need to address that. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing an early pick taken on a guy who could be groomed to play left tackle, allowing David Diehl to move back inside within a season or two. At the very least, they need to find one or two versatile youngsters who can provide better depth than they currently have.

With that in mind, let's go 'prospecting' for choices on the offensive line. I'm going to focus this week on a couple of intriguing linemen who could fit as possibilities in the second, or maybe third round.

William Beatty, OT, Connecticut

There is, as you might expect, a difference of opinion as to how high Beatty might go in the draft.

SBN's Mocking the Draft considers the 6-foot-6, 307-pound Beatty best-suited for the right side and probably a second-round pick. Walter Football says his stock is rising, and he could even sneak into the first round. Draft Countdown thinks Beatty could be a starting left tackle. Here is some of their summary.

Strengths: Terrific size with a large frame...Excellent athleticism...Light on his feet...Real quick and agile...Terrific footwork...Mobile enough to pull and get to the second level.

Weaknesses: Needs to get stronger...Could stand to add some weight...Is not overly powerful...Doesn't get a great push in the run game.

Notes: An impressive physical specimen for the position and most of his flaws can be corrected with further development and coaching...Underrated prospect who seemingly has all the tools to play left tackle in the NFL.

Left or right, I like the potential I am reading about.

Max Unger, C, Oregon

Listed by Draft Countdown as one of the two best centers available. The appealing thing about Unger is his versatility.

Draft Countdown had this to say.

Played left tackle his first two years with the Ducks then moved inside to center in 2007...Could realistically play center, guard or tackle at the next level...Good all-around player who is effective and both a run and pass blocker...Doesn't necessarily stand out in any way one area but his ability to play every position along the line is very enticing...Definitely has the ability to start in the NFL but should at the absolute least be a valuable backup...One of the premier interior line prospects available.

Check out 'Mocking The Draft' for another opinion on Unger.

This Week's Mock Drafts

  • Round 1 (29th), Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina.
  • The Football Expert: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina; Round 2 (45th), LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh; Round 2 (60th), Marcus Freeman, OLB, Ohio State.
  • Saturdays2Sundays: Round 1, Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers; Round 2 (45th), Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma; Round 2 (60th), Chase Coffman, TE, Missouri.
  • Draft King: Round 1, Clay Matthews, OLB, USC.
  • NFL Draft Blitz: Round 1, Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi.
  • Walter Football: Round 1, Brian Cushing, OLB, USC; Round 2 (45th), Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers; Round 2 (60th), LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh.
  • DraftTek: Round 1, Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland; Round 2 (45th), William Beatty, OT, Connecticut; Round 2 (60th), Tyrone McKenzie, OLB, South Florida.
  • Kirwan: Round 1, Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina; Round 2 (45th), Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa; Round 2 (60th), James Casey, TE, Rice.