The New York Giants had a disappointing 2012 season just a year after winning the Super Bowl. A big reason for their surprising 2011 championship was the pass-rushing ability by the defense. That was also a key component missing this past year as they failed to make the playoffs. Top pass-rusher Jason Pierre-Paul slipped all the way to just 6.5 sacks in 2012, the most on the team.
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The Giants also parted ways with Osi Umenyiora (6 sacks in 2012) and are definitely looking to bolster the pass-rush next season. Will they find a high-end prospect slipping to them in this year's draft, much like the luck they once had with Pierre-Paul? If so, Ezekiel Ansah of BYU would definitely fit the bill. The defensive end has seen his star rise quite rapidly during the pre-draft process, possibly putting him in the top ten, but Dane Brugler of CBS Sports actually projected Ansah to the Giants with the 19th overall pick in his latest mock draft:
Stop me if you've heard this before -- the Giants select the top pass rusher left on the board with their first-round pick. Ansah still needs a lot of work, but his NFL upside will land him in the top-20, if not higher.
"If not higher" indeed. It seems really unlikely at the moment that Ansah would be available at 19, but a lot could happen between now and April. This particular position group is deep and no real consensus has emerged as to who the top players in the group are, but Ansah has a strong argument that he should not be allowed to fall this far. In Brugler's mock, he has Damontre Moore going to the Steelers two picks ahead of Ansah. Would that happen after the terrible combine performance put forth by Moore?
It's hard to say, but if he does fall this far, the Giants probably wouldn't hesitate to make this pick.