Giants Tuck away much needed DE depth

With little to no depth at defensive end, the Giants chose Notre Dame's all-time sack leader, Justin Tuck, in the third round.

Big Blue's starting ends – Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora – are strong, but the drop-off after that is tremendous. Only Claude Harriott and Raheem Orr are currently listed as reserves on New York's depth chart at DE.

"Justin Tuck was part of our second-round discussion," GM Ernie Accorsi said. "Defensive ends, obviously, are hard to find. We don't have a lot of depth there. This gives us another end."

That's where the 6-5, 268-pound Tuck comes in. The junior eligible is athletic, quick and persistent. He totaled 164 tackles and 24.5 sacks during his Fighting Irish career.

"We think Tuck has a tremendous upside," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We look for him to be a guy who has the toughness to play the run and he has a real upside as a pass rusher."

The cousin of Ravens DE Adalius Thomas, Tuck was named his team's most valuable player last season.

Tuck missed Notre Dame's bowl game with a knee injury, but worked out and impressed New York enough that they spent the 74th overall choice on the speed rusher, who timed a 4.62 in the 40-yard dash.

Tuck's breakout year came in 2003 when he set the school single-season mark with 13.5 sacks, 73 tackles and three forced fumbles.

"I figured once I didn't get drafted in the first round, I'd have a great opportunity as far as being a Giant," Tuck said.

With Corey Webster in the second round and Tuck in round three, New York's defense is hoping to improve by leaps and bounds.

"We added a pass rusher and a cover corner, so we really helped our defense," Accorsi said.

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