Many people applauded the New York Giants for having a solid 2013 NFL Draft, in which they added depth to their defensive line, got protection for their franchise quarterback, and possibly took the best quarterback in the draft in the fourth round. However, the Giants did not fill two glaring holes that plagued them last season.
The Giants were expected to add solid depth to their secondary and linebacker core as well, but did neither. Some wondered why, but there aren’t many that are willing to doubt general manager Jerry Reese after building two Super Bowl winning teams. The Giants, instead, chose to acquire several linebackers after the draft, hoping one of them are able to add depth.
The Giants have young pieces at the linebacker position, with LB Spencer Paysinger, LB Jacquian Williams and LB Mark Herzlich already having a couple of years and a championship under their belts. They can be the future of the middle for the Giants’ defense, but the Giants need linebackers with playmaking ability. The fact they didn’t obtain one in the draft tells us a couple of things with their draft philosophy.
First, the Giants probably believed strengthening their defensive line unit would help their linebackers in roaming the field and making tackles. Last season, the defensive line was unable to take up blocks and provide opportunities for the linebackers to stop the run. The Giants drafted DT Johnathan Hankins out of Ohio State in the second round, in addition to signing DT Cullen Jenkins and DT Mike Patterson in free agency.
The Giants already have DT Marvin Austin, who still has not lived up to expectations coming out of North Carolina. If he can finally play up to expectations, the Giants will have a strong interior unit. Couple that with a pass rush that boasts DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DE Justin Tuck, LB Mathias Kiwanuka, and new draftee DE Damontre Moore, and the Giants have themselves a solid front line.
It all takes place on the field, so they’ll have to show that Reese’s philosophy was a smart one yet again.