By the time the New York Giants draft in the first round there could be a plethora of players worth taking. Much will depend on whether or not there is a run on quarterbacks as several team picking ahead of the Giants have obvious needs. However, there could also be a run on offensive tackles as well. If that happens, the Giants will have to draft the best player available at a position of need and there are certainly a lot of needs on both sides of the ball.
With defensive tackle Linval Joseph due to hit the open market, the defensive tackle position could be on the Giants’ target list. There is one defensive tackle in this year’s draft that could get the Giants excited and that is Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.
Jernigan is arguably the best defensive tackle in this draft. He uses a low center of gravity to generate a lot of his strength and he has the ability to dominate one-on-one and can handle himself in some double team scenarios. He also isn’t terrible as a pass rusher, using his quickness and strength to shed blockers or he can bull rush into the backfield.
If Joseph prices himself out of the Giants’ price range they could very well see Jernigan as too good to pass up. Last season, the Giants drafted Jonathan Hankins from Ohio State in the second round. Hankins showed some ability against the run but looked raw. The potential is there with Hankins but Jernigan would be able to step in right away and be a starter. Right now, the Giants have Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson, who both proved to be nice additions last season but are getting along in age. Shaun Rogers is a non-factor and is gone. Markus Kuhn is a valuable depth guy who can contribute in spurts. Joseph is the best defensive tackle on the roster and he could very well be on another team leaving the Giants with a gap in their interior front.
Giants GM Jerry Reese loves his defensive line and if Jernigan is available can he resist the possibility of anchoring the inside of the Giants defensive line with Hankins and Jernigan for years to come? It would be hard to pass up, even with a bigger need on the offensive line. A defensive line led by a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul and Damontre Moore and perhaps a re-signed Justin Tuck at end with Hankins and Jernigan inside would be enough to make any defensive coordinator feel giddy.