With the 2015 NFL Draft almost upon us, let's take a moment and look back at the state of the New York Giants' roster. We know the Giants try to take the best player left on their big board. However, when there are two players with similarly high grades, the Giants will take the one that fills the greater need. The Giants also typically try to use free agency to fill the holes in their roster, so let's take a look at the needs on the roster after free agency
Needs -- Offense
Offensive Line -- Four out of the fiveoffensive line positions are set with starters with Will Beatty, Geoff Schwartz, Weston Richburg, and Justin Pugh. Brandon Mosley, John Jerry, and Brett Jones would argue that five of the five positions are filled with quality starters. However, if the Giants coaches and front office don't feel the same way, they could look to the draft to fill out the offensive line.
Brandon Scherff (OG, Iowa) [Scouting Report]
Andrus Peat (OT, Stanford) [Scouting Report]
La'El Collins (OT/OG LSU) [Scouting Report]
Ereck Flowers (OT, Miami) [Scouting Report]
Wide Receiver -- At first blush the wide receiver position is stacked. Odell Beckham took the NFL by storm in 2014, Victor Cruz is still a star, and Rueben Randle flashes brilliance. On the back end, Marcus Harris, Corey Washington, Juron Criner, Chris Harper, Preston Parker, Kevin Ogletree, and Dwayne Harris could provide a few valuable contributors. However, Cruz is on his way back from a nasty injury, Randle is in the last year of his contract, and the seven receivers on the back end of the roster might just be depth guys. The draft is about the future, and right now the wide receiver position is no sure thing.
Amari Cooper [Scouting Report]
Kevin White [Scouting Report]
DeVante Parker [Scouting Report]
Breshad Perriman [Scouting Report]
Needs - Defense
Safety -- It remains to be seen how much talent the Giants currently have have on their roster at the safety position. As of now, the starters are former fifth-round picks Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor. Both have played well in limited action, but they are lacking in real NFL experience. Behind them are former UDFA Thomas Gordon, free agent Josh Gordy, and potential cornerback conversions Bennett Jackson and Chykie Brown.
First Round Options
None, really. There aren't really any safeties believed to be a good value at ninth overall. However, Landon Collins of Alabama [Scouting Report] could be in play as a safety/linebacker hybrid.
Edge Rusher -- Historically, this would mean a traditional 4-3 defensive end. But without knowing the exact shape returning defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's scheme is going to take, we have to recognize the possibility that less traditional edge rushers could be in play as well. The existing depth chart looks quite a bit like wide receiver depth chart. Jason Pierre-Paul is one of the top all around defensive ends in the league, Robert Ayers was a very efficient rusher and quality run defender in 2014, DaMontre Moore flashed a knack for disrupting plays behind the line of scrimmage, and Kerry Wynn showed some potential. The Giants also added free agent end George Selvie. However, Pierre-Paul, Ayers, and Selvie are all -- currently -- free agents after the 2015 season. And much like Cruz, Ayers is coming back from a nasty injury while Moore has yet to show his talent consistently. While the depth chart should be solid for 2015, the future of the position is in question.
First Round Options
Dante Fowler Jr. (DE/OLB, Florida) [Scouting Report]
Alvin Dupree (DE, Kentucky) [Scouting Report]
Vic Beasley (OLB, Clemson)
Red Flag Prospects -- Both of these prospects could be in play, but have had red flags come up. Their position on the Giants opinion of their character.
Shane Ray (DE/OLB, Missouri) [Scouting Report]
Randy Gregory (DE/OLB, Nebraska) [Scouting Report]
The draft is almost here, but we still have no clue what the Giants are going to do. We can be pretty sure that GM Jerry Reese will stick to his board and pick the player he believes to be the best value available. What we can also be fairly sure that whoever the Giants feel is the best player available will somehow also fill a need.