Apr 032000
 
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New York Giants 2000 NFL Draft Needs
  • Offensive Tackle: Hopefully, Luke Petitgout will nail down one tackle spot. However, Scott Gragg and Roman Oben are gone. Lomas Brown and Glenn Parker are viable short-term reserves, but they are clearly not long-term answers. The Giants need a good, young tackle to play opposite of Petitgout in 2001 and beyond. Depth is also a concern unless the Giants add another veteran free agent.
  • Defensive Tackle: Much depends on whether Robert Harris is re-signed. Keith Hamilton is a fine player, but Christian Peter is a bit limited as the other starter. He will never be a top pass rusher and he wears down with overuse because he plays so hard all the time. It would be great if the Giants could draft a player who is a better pass rusher and who could rotate with Peter, depending on the game situation. George Williams and Ryan Hale have not impressed thus far.
  • Linebacker: Jessie Armstead and Michael Barrow will form two-thirds of the starting linebacking corps. Who starts at the remaining spot and overall depth are the remaining issues. The Giants are looking to increase team speed on defense and they helped themselves with the addition of Barrow. But MLB Corey Widmer and SLB Ryan Phillips are slower pluggers. Widmer may become a salary cap casualty soon. Marcus Buckley and Scott Galyon have already departed. Adding a young, fast linebacker who could eventually start in the middle or on the strongside is the goal. The Giants also need to add another 1-2 linebackers who can serve as capable back-ups and excel on special teams.
  • Halfback: The main issue here is that few teams make a run at the championship without a top running back. Joe Montgomery could be that man, but it is far too risky for the Giants to place all their eggs in the Montgomery basket – especially when that basket has proven to be fragile. A top runner would make life much easier for Kerry Collins, the receivers, and the offensive line.
  • Offensive Guard: It looks as if the Giants will head into 2000 with Ron Stone and Mike Rosenthal as their starting guards. Added competition for the starting jobs would be a big plus. Depth is an issue with Jason Whittle being the primary back-up if Parker is forced to start at tackle.
  • Offensive Center: Dusty Zeigler will start, but the back-up situation is not ideal with unrestricted free agent Derek Engler as his back-up. Bringing aboard a youngster to groom behind Zeigler is recommended.
  • Defensive End: Michael Strahan and Cedric Jones will start. Depth and competition is a concern. Strahan did not play particularly well in 1999, but should rebound. Jones finally stayed healthy, played the run better than his predecessor, and flashed some pass rush skills. More pass rush is needed from both or the Giants need to bring in some players who can get the job done. Also, depth is an issue as Bernard Holsey has left. Frank Ferrara and Jomo Cousins are the main back-ups right now.
  • Cornerback: The future is as much of an issue here as the present. Jason Sehorn will be an unrestricted free agent next off-season. If he does not return to his 1997 form, the Giants most likely will not meet his contract demands. Of course, they could put a transition or franchise tag on him too – but it remains to see how much of an impact he can still make on the playing field. The other corner, Conrad Hamilton, needs to re-prove himself after missing most of 1999 with a knee injury. The back-ups show promise, but are still relative unprovens. They include Emmanuel McDaniel, Andre Weathers, and Bashir Levingston.
  • Safety: SS Sam Garnes and FS Shaun Williams are the unquestioned starters. However, depth is a big concern. Lyle West looks like a decent player, but more help is needed. Tre Thomas is more of a special teams-type.
  • Tight End: Pete Mitchell was an excellent addition, but he’s not a full-time, two-way tight end – he’s more of an H-Back. Dan Campbell may be that kind of guy. The Giants need to bring someone onboard who can compete with Campbell and take Howard Cross’ roster spot.
  • Wide Receiver: Amani Toomer had a breakout year and Ike Hilliard complements him very well. Joe Jurevicius and Brian Alford have not progressed as hoped. Both are very talented and bring size (Joe) and speed (Brian) to the table. David Patten was lost as the fifth receiver. Adding a speedster who would compete with Joe and Brian would be ideal.
  • Special Teams Players: The Giants need more headhunters for special teams. These kind of players usually come from the ranks of linebackers, defensive backs, receivers, and running backs. The Giants don’t have nearly enough killers on specials. Losing Scott Galyon and David Patten won’t help matters.

Summary: The Giants NEED help at offensive tackle, at defensive tackle, linebacker, and special teams. Adding a difference-maker at halfback would help the entire offense. Depth/competition is needed at offensive guard, offensive center, defensive end, cornerback, safety, tight end, and wide receiver.

PRIMARY NEEDS:
(The top three are areas where premium draft picks – rounds 1-4 – could be spent).

  • Offensive Tackle
  • Defensive Tackle
  • Linebacker

SECONDARY NEEDS:
(More likely to be addressed lower in the draft and through rookie/veteran free agency).

  • Offensive Center
  • Defensive End
  • Safety

AREAS IN NEED OF POSSIBLE UPGRADE:
(All areas where premium draft picks – rounds 1-4 – could be spent).

  • Halfback
  • Cornerback
  • Offensive Guard
  • Wide Receiver
  • Tight End
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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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