1. New Running Back
Last season, the Giants were ranked one of lowest teams in total points, rushing yards, and total offense. With 2017 being one of the deepest running back classes to ever enter the draft, the Giants must jump on this opportunity to repair the holes in their offense.
One of the Giants most productive running backs is Rashad Jennings; however, he is no longer with the team and starter Shane Vereen is coming off an injury-plagued season. The Giants need to take advantage of this talented draft class in order to replace these once productive players.
There is a small possibility that top ranked guys like Leonard Fournette of LSU and Dalvin Cook of Florida State will still be available by the time the Giants are on the board, but there is a good chance that solid backs like Marlon Mack of South Florida and Kareem Hunt of Toledo will still be around.
2. Quarterback of the future
As Eli Manning enters his 14th season in the NFL, the Giants need to start looking for a new franchise quarterback. Manning certainly has a few more years with that arm, but he doesn’t have forever. Bringing in a newbie now makes the most sense in the grand scheme of things, as Manning can take the young rookie under his wing and help guide and transition him into a franchise quarterback.
The incoming draft class is considered to be a weak quarterback class. The most intriguing prospect for the Giants is Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech. The 6’2”, 225-pound quarterback isn’t ready to be a starter in the NFL, and that’s OK. Mahomes has the ability and work ethic to develop into a starter, and with the guidance of Manning, Mahomes has the ability to become a greater quarterback.
3. Tight End Weapon for Manning
The Giants currently have one of the deepest, most talented receiver corps in the NFL. Manning has a plethora of receivers to go deep and make game-changing plays with. However, the Giants lack in the tight end pool.
Having a receiver that can convert on third down and is able to block consistently is key for the Giants, especially with their lacking offensive line. In this draft, the tight end group runs deep.
O.J. Howard of Alabama ranks at the top of the tight end corps and the Giants list, if he is still available at No. 23. If he’s not, there are other great options like David Njoku of Miami and Jordan Leggett of Clemson.
3 Things that won’t happen:
1. Ereck Flowers’ replacement
In the 2015 draft, the Giants used their 9th overall pick to select the former Miami blocker Flowers. Back then, Big Blue had two star linemen, Will Beatty and Justin Pugh, that Flowers could develop and learn from. However, due to position changes and injuries, Flowers was forced into the starting job as a young rookie.
The last two years have been rough with Flowers and the Giants to need to replace him. However, this years’ draft has one of the weakest classes for blockers. If the Giants did decide to draft a lineman, there is a good chance they would have déjà vu.
2. Trading for an earlier first pick
The Giants currently hold the 23rd pick in the first round. For many teams, trading up to fill their dyer needs is a common practice. The Giants, however, do not have these dyer needs. They have their franchise quarterback, star-studded receivers, and a solid pass defense. There are positions that need to be filled like at the running back position, tight end, and the offensive line; however, star players in these positions will still be very much available at No. 23. There is no apparent reason to trade up.
3. Defensive picks
The Giants had a terrible defense coming out of the 2015 season. Jerry Reese took a stand to fix his team. Reese used the Giants’ big bucks to pay defensive tackle Damon Harrison, safety Landon Collins, and defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul. The effort by Reese to improve his team’s lackluster defense paid off, as the Giants had one of the top ranked defenses in the league last season.
What happened in 2015 to the defense had happened to the offense in 2016. With an inconsistent offensive line and running back situation, the Giants had one of the worst ranking rushing offense. Heading into the draft, the Giants must fix the problems surrounding Eli Manning and draft skill players for his offense, not waste picks on defensive players.