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Mel Kipers' summer audit - NYG

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Mel Kipers' summer audit - NYG

Post  Big_Pete on Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:50 pm

Let's pretend for a moment that the NFL hasn't ground to a halt like a train rusted to the tracks. Let's pretend as well that the season will start on time, that free agency will at some point get under way and that all these roster voids can be addressed at some point. Got it? Well, with those rose-colored glasses on, let's audit all the divisions in the NFL. Like last year, I'll hit on three things:

  • Help added: What has the team done so far this offseason to improve its prospects? (Obviously, minus free agency, this is mainly limited to the draft.)
  • Questions that remain: Consider it a guide to free agency (when it happens). What must still be addressed?
  • Next year's help now: With an eye toward next year's draft class, which player from 2012 seemingly could help the team in 2011? This is meant to be extremely hypothetical.

New York Giants

Help added: Weeks before the draft, Amukamara was almost a certain top-10 pick. On draft day, he fell to the Giants at pick No. 19. In today's age of pro football, you can never have enough quality cornerbacks. When you combine his physical ability and cover skills, it should equate to a very good starter in the league.

With the Giants facing the possibility Barry Cofield could depart in free agency, they were in the market for some depth at DT. Had North Carolina's Marvin Austin been on the field as a senior and played up to his potential, he would have been a first-round pick. The Giants were able to get him in the late-second round. He needs to make more plays, but there is no questioning his talent. If Austin doesn't become a starter, he should be able to at least make the grade as a top-flight backup.

New York's third-round pick, Troy wideout Jerrel Jernigan, possesses blazing speed and puts it to very good use as a receiver, a returner and on reverses. He's a guy that defenses have to find when he steps on the field. Fourth-rounder James Brewer (OT) looks the part but needs better results; a definite coach-him-up shot. While Michigan State LB Greg Jones wasn't the prospect his stats in college would lead you to believe, in the sixth round he had definite value. I would not be the least bit surprised to see him become a solid backup. Iowa S Tyler Sash wasn't the ball hawk as a junior that we witnessed the previous two years, but he still graded out as a good starter. When projecting him to the NFL, you're looking at a decent backup type.

Questions that remain: The two spots that stick out for me are at outside linebacker and on the offensive line. I really expected to see the Giants go for a linebacker earlier, and I think they may have if they hadn't been blown away by the value they got in Amukamara and Austin. But the question remains: How long will this aging offensive line hold together? We saw it struggle last year, so expect the G-men to do some scouring for starting help in free agency, or at least add some depth. Same situation at linebacker, where the team was frankly terrible in 2010.

Next year's help now: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
He could add size to his frame, but Kuechly seems to make every tackle and is the kind of active, tackling-machine presence this team needs at linebacker.
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