After signing 19 free agents over the past two weeks, it seems safe to assume that the New York Giants are essentially finished with their free agency activity. New York team owner John Mara essentially confirmed this belief when he stated Sunday that the team is “pretty close to done” signing veteran free agents.
The Giants’ marked improvements, both in the secondary and at linebacker, should make the 8th ranked defense in 2013 only better. Aided by his new personnel, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell should be able to create unique and complex schemes that befuddle the opposition.
The challenges for the Giants reside on the other side of the ball. New York entered this offseason with a host of offensive issues, and even after signing running back Rashad Jennings, and offensive guards Geoff Schwartz and John Jerry, the Giants still desperately need a functional tight end. The current team options, Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell, have very little professional experience between them, and at this point in their careers, both have yet to demonstrate an ability to handle the responsibilities of an NFL starter.
Team management hopefully knows that if New York enters the 2014 season without a more serviceable tight end, the team’s offensive efficiency cannot expect to improve upon lackluster 2013 efforts.
With the NFL Draft in lieu, it now seems likely that the Giants will attempt to address the position in the first couple rounds. One likely candidate is North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron, a hulking speedster with the hands and natural play-making ability of a wide receiver. Although it is unusual to spend a high first-round pick on a tight end, I believe the Giants would be correct in taking him with pick 12.
Ebron instantly secures a position of need for New York, and scouts have already audaciously proclaimed Ebron’s potential exceeds that of Vernon Davis and Jimmy Graham. If Ebron is even in the same ballpark as the two aforementioned positional leaders, his value for the Giants is obvious, and they would be foolish not to select him.