If Pouncey Is There, He's The Guy

The concensus says if Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey is there at No. 19 tomorrow, the Giants take him. We agree.

Getting an inkling out of Giants GM Jerry Reese as to who he'll take with the 19th pick in Thursday night's first round is about as easy as getting a workout in the Jets' facilities.

Ain't gonna happen.

But with seemingly the whole media world targeting Florida guard Mike Pouncey, twin brother of Steelers Pro Bowl center Maurkice, we say, "Why not?"

The Giants could use a guy like that.

Look, the fact is the offensive line needs a further boost of young blood. The outside has pretty much been taken care of with Will Beatty. And yes, if Adam Koets comes back well from his knee injury, he could be the serviceable backup he showed himself as before he went down last season.

But, by and large, that middle of the offensive line is growing old and, worse, battered. You can tell because over the last two years, 34-year-old Shaun O'Hara has come up with debilitating injuries he's never had before. And as plucky as Richie Seubert is -- and let's face it, before a knee injury laid him low, he was the offense's MVP as he moved to center and back to guard at will -- there's no telling how long he'll be around. If he has his way, of course, the answer is forever. But that's not quite how Mother Nature works with football players, so the end is coming sooner than later.

In Pouncey, they get a 303-pound kid who has some problems executing the shotgun snap. But the Giants can work with him on that. If they can get one more year out of O'Hara and slip Pouncey into guard at opportune moments, they can give him the experience and training needed to switch him to center a year or two down the road when O'Hara is gone.

Given the paucity of outside linebackers in this draft, the Giants probably won't address that need until the later rounds, where Boston College's Mark Herzlich might be there for the taking. Great story, having survived cancer.

Chances are they won't take a running back high, even though they could say farewell to Brandon Jacobs once the labor situation comes to a resolution.

Jacobs, noting that Ahmad Bradshaw is also iffy because of his uncertain free agent status, said he wouldn't care if the Giants went running back at some point.

"If they do (draft a running back), they do," he said. "There's nothing that we can do to control their opinion about our football team. All we've got to do is go out and play. Because of the uncertainty about Ahmad (who might be an unrestricted free agent) … I hope he's back. I hate to see someone get another back like that. I want him to be here. But from a business point of it you don't know what can happen. He may end up going somewhere else or he may end up staying here. I hope it's the second choice, but I just want him to be happy."

Defensive line is also a possibility. But by and large, the real quality of this draft lies in the offensive line. And the Giants need to rejuvenate that area, so why not draft a lineman high?

If Pouncey is there, they'll take him. If not, maybe Colorado tackle Nate Solder. Or Boston College's Anthony Castonzo, a four-year starter with the quicks to handle speed rushers. Or powerful Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi.

All would be good choices. Chances are the Giants will pluck one of them.

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