Overview: The team has been relatively quiet in free agency, as expected, following its Super Bowl victory, filling only one considerable need at tight end (signing Martellus Bennett) after Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard suffered torn ACLs in Super Bowl XLVI. But even with little movement so far and rings soon to be placed on their fingers, the Giants have some needs. They were only 9-7 in the regular season and were outscored by opponents, barely making the playoffs they dominated. They’re in good shape with picks, owning all their original selections plus a compensatory pick at the end of the fourth round.
Need No. 1: Offensive tackle
The Giants have allowed ORT Kareem McKenzie to test the market and don’t appear likely to re-sign him at this point. They have a potential in-house solution in Dave Diehl, who has played every spot on the line other than center; he can kick from left guard (where he started the season) or left tackle (where he ended it) over to the right side, and the Giants probably would be fine. But that’s assuming OLT Will Beatty’s eye is fully healed — he has been cleared to start working again after having surgery to repair a detached retina in late November — and that his back problems don’t act up. The third tackle is untested 2011 fourth-rounder James Brewer, and he’s an unknown at this point. The team needs another tackle on the roster and could take one high. They value this position.
Need No. 2: Defensive line
Seems foolish, right? The team with maybe the best defensive line in football might be seeking … a defensive lineman? It’s the way the Giants do business: They draft talented players who fill tough-to-find positions. They could take a rush end and have him be groomed to one day replace Osi Umenyiora, or they could draft an inside player, which would give them a terrific young nucleus with Chris Canty, Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin. Don’t rule either out.
Need No. 3: Wide receiver
The loss of WR Mario Manningham opens up an opportunity for last year’s third-rounder, Jerrel Jernigan, to step up. By the end of the season, Jernigan started to slow flashes — as a returner. He didn’t catch a single pass, though, so projecting him to make up for Manningham’s 523 yards (and, for that matter, his playoff heroics) is a bit of a reach. Ramses Barden keeps hanging around, as does Domenik Hixon, but neither can be counted on. The Giants need another option, despite the fantastic starting duo of Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.