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New York Giants Draft Needs: Offensive Line, Linebacker Top The List

The 2011 NFL Draft is barely more than three weeks away. What will the New York Giants do, not only with the 19th pick of the first round, but throughout all seven rounds?

Here at SB Nation New York we have been following mock draft trends for several weeks now. What have we learned? Well, that there is a fairly overwhelming consensus that the most likely move will be for the Giants to grab the best offensive lineman on the board in the first round.

Offensive line is without doubt a need for the Giants. Injuries and age are catching up to center Shaun O'Hara and guard Rich Seubert, both of whom have had off-season surgeries and are question marks for 2010. David Diehl's play at left tackle has been questioned, guard/tackle Shawn Andrews has a balky back and 2009 second-round pick Will Beatty has yet to justify his selection. So, drafting offensive line help at some point -- maybe multiple linemen -- is a necessity.

What other needs might the Giants have? These come to mind, not necessarily in order:

  • Linebacker: The Giants have a very good defense, but they just don't have play-makers at this level. 
  • Running back: Ahmad Bradshaw is a free agent, Brandon Jacobs is a question mark and the Giants don't have a proven third back.
  • Fullback: Bear Pascoe did a good job filling in for Madison Hedgecock, but might be better suited moving back to blocking tight end.
  • Tight end: Kevin Boss is also a free agent. On top of which, it doesn't appear he will never become an upper-echelon pass-catcher in the Giants' offense.
  • Defensive tackle: Barry Cofield can be a free agent and it seems like the Giants don't want to offer him a big pay day. He will need to be replaced.
  • Safety: Perry Fewell loves the three-safety alignment and the Giants' third safety, Deon Grant, is a free agent. 
  • Cornerback: The Giants have two good ones in Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas, but still gave up too many deep balls a year ago. Aaron Ross may never live up to his first-round draft status.
  • Wide receiver: The Giants have a lot of receivers, but with Steve Smith's knee injury being a concern you have to wonder if they might take a stab at a receiver. The one thing they don't have among all of their receivers is a burner who can be a consistent deep threat.

Leading up to the draft we will break the Giants down position-by-position and try to assess which positions the Giants absolutely need to target in the upcoming draft.