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New York Giants News and Notes: Draft Week Hump Day Edition

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 30: Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants is tackled by Nolan Carroll #28 of the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on October 30, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 30: Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants is tackled by Nolan Carroll #28 of the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on October 30, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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Good morning fellow Giants fans. The NFL Draft begins on Thursday, which means that there will be a lot of football talk over the next 72 hours. And being that it's Hump Day, it's time to look at our official Hump Day calendar--there are just 19 weeks left until the NFL regular season kicks off. To put that in perspective, 19 weeks ago the Giants had just beaten the Dallas Cowboys in stunning fashion with JPP blocking a last-minute field goal attempt to keep their (eventual championship) season alive. In some ways, that seems like yesterday, doesn't it? Anyway, there is a lot to get to, so let's have it.....

Giants have the final pick in the opening round - NFL -
Jerry Reese and the New York Giants are used to waiting in the first round of the NFL Draft. It's the price of success, and the Giants and their general manager are willing to deal with it, especially with two Super Bowl titles in hand over the past five seasons. The only difference this time might be when the Giants make their pick. The draft doesn't kick off until 8 p.m. on Thursday, so the Giants might have to wait until the wee hours to make the 32nd and final choice of the opening round. But it'll be worth sticking around for. After all, the champions have obvious needs at receiver, tight end and running back.

Oh, that's right. The wee hours. 11 beers o'clock or later. Well, I will say that it's times like these that I like living in the central time zone.

Team needs: New York Giants | ProFootballTalk
For the second time in the last five years, the Giants used a furious run at the end of the season to win a Super Bowl title. With Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Victor Cruz and other stars etched into the lineup for years to come, there’s reason to believe that they can challenge for more rings. It’s important to remember, though, that the Giants were close to not even making the playoffs. That means there are still needs to fill for the Super Bowl champs.

Mark Herzlich feels Giants' middle linebacker position is his to win |
One year later, the undrafted free agent is a Super Bowl champion and in the mix for the Giants’ starting middle linebacker spot for the 2012 season. The Giants re-signed middle linebacker Chase Blackburn, and general manager Jerry Reese has said starting outside linebacker Michael Boley is a possibility in the middle. And though Herzlich said he still has plenty to prove and will be working for a spot on the roster this offseason, he was the starting middle linebacker for two games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 12 and views the job as his.

New York Giants NFL Draft 2012 - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
The strength of the team has a little uncertainty surrounding it yet again concerning Umenyiora. The defensive end is still looking for a new contract as he enters the final year of his deal. He also wants to start and Tuck and Pierre-Paul are the starters. The Giants could make Umenyiora play out the final year of his deal if both sides are unable to come to terms on an extension. Then the Giants will have to see how Umenyiora will respond and if he’ll threaten to hold out again.

Is it wrong to hope Osi does not have a deal? I want him to play hungry in 2012, even if he's auditioning for another team while doing so.

Hakeem Nicks thinks Giants can find Mario Manningham's replacement in-house |
Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks said he'll leave the drafting to general manager Jerry Reese, but when it comes to looking for a replacement for departed wideout Mario Manningham, Nicks thinks the option is on the current roster. Though, Nicks did say that if Reese wanted to draft a wideout, he wouldn't protest.

Gee, nice of Hakeem to let Reese do his job. Seriously, though, I don't think Nicks is wrong about the third receiver being on the roster--between Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan, you have to believe at least one of them can emerge in 2012.

Who's No. 1 in New York? Not me, says Eli | New York Daily News
The two-time Super Bowl champion and MVP has never been one to seek the spotlight, but even he can’t help but notice the lack of attention he’s received this offseason. The NFL talk in New York has been all about the Jets and Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. "(The) New York Giants just won a championship," Manning said to Fox News Channel over the weekend, "yet I’m still the third most talked about quarterback in my own city." Manning was smiling and got a good laugh from the crowd at Ole Miss when he delivered that line during a panel discussion moderated by Fox News’ Shepard Smith, so it didn’t appear he was truly hurt by the lack of attention. Then again, it’s not the first time this offseason he’s brought the subject up.

RGIII recognizes - but doesn't fear - Giants pass rush | New York Daily News
Robert Griffin III knows the names of the Giants pass-rushers. He can pick out Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul. But RGIII, the Baylor QB who is like to be chosen by the Washington Redskins with the second overall pick in this week's NFL draft, doesn't plan to worry about Big Blue's vaunted pass rush.

Kenny Williams believes son will bounce back - Yahoo! Sports
Kyle Williams then lost a fumble on a punt return in overtime of a 20-17 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants that set up Lawrence Tynes' winning field goal in the NFC title game. He immediately took responsibility for the mistake. ''I'm proud of him. That's what he's supposed to do. That's what you have to do,'' Kenny Williams said Tuesday night before the White Sox played the Oakland Athletics. ''He signed up for the gig, he knows what comes with it. The good thing about him is he will use this as fuel. He already is.'' news: Giants' Pierre-Paul plans to top 16.5 sacks in 2012
In two short seasons, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has become the central force of a New York Giants line that ranks among the game's best. His 16.5 sacks in 2011 ranked fourth in the league behind Jared Allen, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Babin. JPP might have been as valuable to his team as any of them, but he isn't done. "I knew I was going to come in and have a great year (in 2011), but not like that," Pierre-Paul told "Mike and Mike" on ESPN Radio on Tuesday. "Just like this year, I'm going to come in and do better than I did last year. ... I think I should do even more. 16.5 (sacks), I didn't even know I was going to do that, but I got it."

Brandon Jacobs, Plaxico Burress and the Hard Line New York Giants: A Fan's Take - Yahoo! Sports
Jacobs was released by the Giants and subsequently signed with the San Francisco 49ers just days prior to the incident. The Giants didn't anticipate this discretion but it certainly lends credibility to their efforts to sniff out trouble. The current regime (headed by Tom Coughlin) has little tolerance for nonsense. The players (headed by Eli Manning) are blue collar. Like a well run troop who prepares for war, character flaws and lapses in behavior aren't tolerated. It's why the very talented Jacobs no longer fit the mold of Big Blue.

Women’s NFL jerseys: How football is marketed to women. - Slate Magazine
For the month of April, the National Football League has established a temporary, pop-up shop in Times Square—coinciding with the NFL draft, which will be held in New York starting April 26. Inside the shop you'll find familiar items: authentic team jerseys, baseball caps with team logos, and posters of NFL stars in action. You'll also see some slightly odder licensing partnerships: Tervis tumblers and kukui nut necklaces with NFL branding. And you'll see a few products that may seem downright out of place in an NFL shop: yoga pants, and bejeweled and embossed leather handbags.

Interesting, and not at all bad marketing. And who among us doesn't want to see those yoga pants modeled?