The New York Giants owe much of their recent success to a combination of depth and dynamic ability along the defensive front seven. However, right now, they lack that.
The added presence of Jacquian Williams in 2013 will help and Jason Pierre-Paul has become a household name, but the rest of the front seven is either aging or inexperienced. Players like Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger will see opportunities, but they have much to prove.
The lack of pass rush as well as the lack of range from he front seven was distressing for the Giants.
General Manager Jerry Reese will be in the market for players who can get to the quarterback as well as provide some extra range along the front seven. Accordingly, there is reason to believe that the Draft provides that market. There are a number of players in the top- 20 range who can both get to the quarterback and play in a standup role.
Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
Jarvis Jones is an intriguing prospect whose stock is as hard to peg as anyone’s right now. In 2010 he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and missed the entire season. He transferred from USC to Georgia as a result of USCs reluctance to allow him to play with his newfound neck injury.
The head and neck area are hot topics in NFL circles these days, and it is impossible to predict just how many teams would be willing to spend a first round pick on a player with issues in that area.
If he slides, expect the Giants to be attracted to his production. With 28 sacks in the last two seasons and scores of tackles for a loss to go along with them, Jones could be the perfect fit in New York. He has the athleticism to play the SAM linebacker role while also possessing the ability to rush the passer off the edge, something the Giants love (and need).
Should 18 other teams pass on Jones, expect the Giants to be interested.
Barkevious Mingo, LB, LSU
Barkevious Mingo has athletic skills that are as good as any player in the draft. His 6’5” 240 pound frame blew up the combine drills, as he looked very fluid in space.
At the NFL Combine interviews, Mingo said it was his speed that separated him from other prospective defensive ends. He is a bit of a misfit as a pure defensive end in a 4-3 due to his smaller frame but may have a role as a linebacker.
The ability to go sideline-to-sideline as well as set the edge against offensive linemen (and occasionally cover) is critical against teams such as the Washington Redskins who love to run the pistol formation.
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