Matt Moore of the Carolina Panthers is sacked by Barry Cofield of the New York Giants during the NFL season opener at New Meadowlands Stadium on Sept. 12, 2010 in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
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By most accounts the New York Giants did an excellent job collecting talented players during the 2011 NFL Draft -- in many cases grabbing players of high value because they had been expected to be drafted much earlier than the Giants were able to get them.
The draft is done, of course. The work of constructing the 2011 New York Giants has, however, barely begun. Whenever the Giants are able to sign veteran free agents, discuss trades and bring in undrafted free agents to compete for rosters spots the Giants have much to do. The Giants drafted for value, and while the value they collected matched some of their needs, there are still plenty of holes to fill.
"We came to work with basically the same objectives - to take the best player available. Of course, to be conscious to some of the need positions, to try do a good job throughout the entire draft with upgrading our speed and what have you on special teams. And I thought we were able to do that," said Giants coach Tom Coughlin. "Do you solve all of your problems? Of course not. But remember it is an inverted situation this year. We are talking about the college draft first and then free agency coming. And who knows what free agency will bring and what the rules of free agency are. So obviously there is more work to be done."
The Giants are in dire need of a center with incumbent Shaun O'Hara coming off a pair of surgeries. The other two Giants who saw significant time at center, Rich Seubert and Adam Koets, are coming off surgeries of their own. Seubert's availability remains a gigantic question mark. You would think an undrafted free agent would not, under the current circumstances, have a legitimate shot to help in 2011. So, a veteran free-agent center seems a must.
The Giants have decisions to make with their own free agents, most notably defensive tackle Barry Cofield, running back Ahmad Bradshaw and wide receiver Steve Smith. Cofield seems likely to leave with Marvin Austin having been drafted in the second round, and the Giants would seem set on doing whatever they can to keep Bradshaw. Smith is also likely to return, but the micro-fracture knee surgery he underwent a few months ago complicates matters.
The Giants have other decisions to make, as well. One being whether to go with what they have at linebacker, or try to woo a veteran free agent to try and upgrade that unit.
There is definitely, as Coughlin said, more work to be done. When the Giants will get to do it, though, is something completely out of their control.