The 2013 NFL Draft is right around the corner and the New York Giants still have a few holes to fill. The defensive line has added Cullen Jenkins and Michael Patterson and will get Markus Kuhn and Shaun Rogers back from injury. At defensive end the Giants are less settled. Osi Umenyiora signed with the Atlanta Falcons and Justin Tuck has not been a consistent pass rusher for two years. Even Jason Pierre-Paul is coming off of a down year. The Giants must rediscover their pass rush if they want to get back into the playoffs.
There are some intriguing prospects already on the Giants roster. Adewale Ojomo had a fantastic preseason last year and could factor in to the Giants plans this season. The Giants can also move Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end, his natural position. There are more question marks than answers, however.
Given the amount of questions surrounding the Giants defensive ends it would not surprise me to see GM Jerry Reese draft a pass rusher in the first round. This year’s draft figures to feature quite a few potential impact players at the position. The question is who would be available for the Giants at the 19th pick.
One intriguing prospect is Alex Okafor from Texas. Okafor, 6-4, 261 pounds, is a very good edge-rusher who can win most one-on-one battles. He is very agile and has the power to be a consistent pass-rusher in the NFL.
The Giants could also see Florida St. defensive end Bjoern Werner staring at them. Werner might have the most upside of any defensive end in the draft. Werner only played two years of high school football before heading off to FSU. However, Werner had a breakout season last year as a junior, registering 13 sacks. He doesn’t have blazing speed, clocking in with a 4.83 40 at the combine but has a good motor that works well with his strength. Werner is still learning the game and could develop into a Jared Allen-type player at the next level.
The Giants could go in many directions with their pick. The pass rush could use an infusion of youth and skill and drafting Werner or Okafor might be the best route for the Giants.