If any team needs a good run in the 2014 NFL draft it’s the New York Giants. They were Super Bowl champions two years ago and have somehow fallen to 0-6. Can a couple great picks get them back on track?
Jadeveon Clowney – DE – South Carolina
The struggles of Eli Manning turning the ball over will undoubtedly get some to overreact and think the Giants must think about taking a quarterback in the first round but they also forget New York already took Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse back in April. He was quietly considered a serious prospect worthy of becoming a starter. So the need for a young quarterback is filled for the time being, and nobody will replace Manning anyway. The real source of headaches for the G-Men begins and ends with their pass rush. It ranks as the worst in the league with just five sacks. That has to change if they want to contend again. With a top five pick in their future, there is no doubt they’re in play for defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Current struggles aside his talent is undeniable. It’s very hard for a player to get tagged as a definite fixture for the next decade at any position. Clowney is that on defense.
Anthony Barr – OLB – UCLA
Keeping in line with that thought process, they are certain to take a long look at Clowney’s top challenger in the draft. Anthony Barr has plenty of talent of his own but his calling card is versatility coupled with a non-stop motor. Scouts will initially peg him as a perfect fit for a 3-4 defensive scheme but that should not stop the Giants from considering Barr. Pass rushers have a tendency to fit in any defense and the UCLA star is that kind of player. Tom Coughlin is a good enough coach to where he and defensive coordinator Perry Fewel can find a way to only help Barr fit in their defense but excel as well. A perfect example is Mathias Kiwanuka. Instead of forcing him to play down like a traditional defensive end, the Giants chose to allow him to rush from a standing position much like in a 3-4. It has met with lots of success over the years. Barr could do the same for them.
Sammy Watkins – WR – Clemson
Barring a pass rusher, the New York Giants can’t afford to stop arming Manning with weapons. Hakeem Nicks is a free agent in 2014 and Reuben Randle has not proven capable enough to replace him if he leaves. So finding another quality receiver in the 2014 NFL draft could prove very helpful. Sammy Watkins of Clemson may not stand out for his size or speed but he does have good amounts of both coupled with an uncanny knack to make plays after the catch. He is as safe a pick at his position as there is. He can do it all on the field and would be an instant help for the offense.
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