Alford in Rush to Provide DT Depth

Not only was Jay Alford the first Giants draft pick to ink a deal with Big Blue, before too long he's likely to be the first defensive tackle off the bench as well.

Starters Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield are both coming off solid seasons; however, the wear and tear of playing more than the lion's share of the snaps last season clearly took its toll on the duo.

Alford joins a crop of DTs that includes offseason signee Marcus Bell and improved holdover Jonas Seawright. However, Alford's pass-rush ability is likely to set him apart from the other two, who are more adept at stuffing up the run.

The omission of William Joseph here was hardly an oversight. The drafting of Alford will almost certainly signal the merciful end of the Giants career of one of New York's biggest ever first-round draft busts.

It was tough to tell too much from offseason minicamps, but the coaching staff has been impressed with Alford's motor and work ethic, not to mention his initial quickness off the ball and good closing speed, all important traits that he displayed while at Penn State. On several occasions he beat his man cleanly in one-on-one pass-rush drills, but he was also welcomed to the NFL when veteran starting C Shaun O'Hara tossed him to the ground at the end of a drill.

Another reason to be excited about Alford, which is something brought up by almost everyone, is that the Orange, NJ, native is simply thrilled to be playing for his hometown team. Having grown up less than a half-hour from Giants Stadium, Alford has dreamt of suiting up for New York since he was very young. Now, he finally gets his chance.

In the next week or so, TGI will take a close-up look at each of Big Blue's draft picks and tell you exactly what we've seen and what's going on with the newest Giants.

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