The New York Giants biggest need in the offseason is on the offensive line, with younger upgrades to the interior of the line being the most important for the Giants organization. Eli Manning simply did not have enough time in the pocket to make plays, and it’s never wise to have awful interior pass protection when your quarterback is not a running QB. The Giants run blocking was even worse, as Andre Brown and the other backs simply had no holes to run through, and the Giants poor play up front was simply unacceptable. Changes will have to made this offseason, and there’s no better way to change things than by Jerry Reese hitting a home-run with the team’s first round pick.
In his latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft on NFLMocks.com (you can read the full piece here), Sayre Bedinger has the Giants selecting Buffalo DE/LB Khalil Mack with the 12th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Mack is an excellent, versatile prospect who is the best available guy with the 12th pick, and I think he would be a fine pick for the Giants. He would like be a 4-3 OLB for them and make a solid impact as a pass rusher and run defender, but Mack is probably a better 3-4 OLB than a 4-3 OLB or 4-3 DE. That said, he is still a solid fit for them and a solid upgrade, even though linebacker isn’t as much of a need as offensive line help.
If the Giants were to draft an offensive lineman with the 12th pick in Bedinger’s mock draft and take an OL who was drafted after the 12th pick in that mock, then they have to draft an offensive tackle. This year’s draft class is deep at OT and thin on the interior (David Yankey of Stanford is the best interior OL, but he’s not worth being selected that high), and the Giants could draft a tackle and start him on the right side. Then, they could just kick last year’s draft pick Justin Pugh inside, where he is projected to be a better fit at guard.
Michigan’s Taylor Lewan and Texas A&M’s Cedric Ogbuehi look like the two best prospects at tackle still on the board, as Lewan is a consistent prospect while Ogbuehi is a high-upside, uber-athletic tackle who is an intriguing prospect to watch in the coming months. Those two make the most sense for the Giants as far as a need-based pick goes, and I would draft a tackle if the Giants believe that Pugh can fit at guard.
Corner could also make sense for the Giants, but I’m not sure that any CB is worth taking with the 12th pick. Khalil Mack makes sense for the Giants as a best-available pick, but I think they have to go tackle and kick Pugh inside if they view addressing their biggest need as the best strategy come draft day. Projecting the Giants first-round pick is extremely difficult, and the approach is philosophical, first and foremost.