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New York Giants 2012 NFL Draft Preview: Defensive Possibilities

Earlier today we looked at some of the offensive possibilities for the New York Giants in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. Now, let's turn our attention to the defensive possibilities in next week's draft.

Related: Offensive Possibilities

As I said earlier, pretty much everything is on the table for the Giants. On the defensive side of the ball you can make an argument for supplementing just about every position. So, let's take a look.

Defensive Tackle -- The Giants have Chris Canty coming off knee surgery and Linval Joseph. Beyond that they really have only Marvin Austin, and since Austin has never played in an NFL game and hasn't played football in two years the Giants look thin here. Names to watch: Round 1 -- Devon Still, Jerel Worthy, Kendall Reyes. Second day -- Brandon Thompson. Third day -- Akiem Hicks

Defensive End -- Yes, defensive end is definitely in play early in the draft for the Giants. Osi Umenyiora's status in unclear. Mathias Kiwanuka can be a free agent after this season. Justin Tuck has broken down physically two of the past three seasons. Dave Tollefson is gone. The Giants defense is predicated on having a plethora of pass-rushing ends, and right they are running the risk of being thin here in the very near future. Names to watch: Round 1 -- Chandler Jones, Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry. Second day -- Jared Crick. Third day -- Justin Francis.

Linebacker -- We debate this position every year, and it always appears to be in flux. Despite adding Keith Rivers via trade and re-signing Chase Blackburn you can bet the Giants will add to this spot if the value is there. Names to watch: Round 1 -- Dont'a Hightower, Zach Brown. Day 2 -- Lavonte David, Mychal Kendricks, Bobby Wagner, Sean Spence. Day 3 -- Tahir Whitehead, Korey Toomer.

Cornerback -- For years I have said you can never have too many quality cornerbacks, and I won't back off that. Early attention to this position would not bother me in the least. Names to watch: Round 1 -- Stephon Gilmore, Janoris Jenkins. Second day -- Josh Robinson, Jayron Hosley, Trumaine Johnson, Alfonzo Dennard, Brandon Boykin. Day 3 -- Chase Minnifield, Omar Bolden, Josh Norman.

Safety -- The Giants have Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips, but nothing but questions after that (sorry, Tyler Sash fans!). Attention to this position would not be surprising at all. Names to watch: Round 1 -- Mark Barron, Harrison Smith (maybe Round 2 if he falls). Second day -- George Iloka. Third day -- Brandon Hardin.