By Kyle Johansen @kylejohansen on March 26, 2014
The most significant event of the offseason so far for the New York Giants was the loss of defensive tackle Linval Joseph to the Minnesota Vikings. The Giants also saw Hakeem Nicks, Keith Rivers and Justin Tuck sign new contracts elsewhere. The Giants re-signed linebacker Jon Beason, in addition to signing Rashad Jennings to bolster the backfield. The Giants can use help at linebacker, as well as on the offensive and defensive lines.
Anthony Barr converted from fullback to outside linebacker in 2012, and the move paid immediate dividends. Barr dominated the Pac-12 that year with 13 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss. In 2013, Barr totaled 10 sacks and five forced fumbles, and he would represent a huge upgrade for the Giants at a position of need.
After losing Linval Joseph, the Giants can replace him with the most disruptive force on the defensive interior in this year’s class. If Aaron Donald measured out bigger than 6-foot, 285-pounds then he would likely be a top-10 pick. However, some teams may be wary of Donald’s size despite his production in 2013 which included 11 sacks and 28.5 tackles for loss, the most in the country.
At 6-foot-2, 299-pounds, Timmy Jernigan is an all-around defensive tackle some consider to be the best in this year’s class. Jernigan is strong for his size and defends the run well while also showing disruptive quickness. Jernigan is more of a run-stuffer than a pass-rusher but shows the ability to do both at the next level.
At 6-foot-7, 309-pounds, Lewan is a massive offensive tackle and has room to grow into his frame. He excels in pass-protection but is not powerful as a run-blocker. Lewan is an experienced left tackle, having starting 48 of 50 games for Michigan, and is a similar prospect to OT Nate Solder, the Patriots 17th overall selection in the 2011 draft.
After losing Brandon Myers, the Giants would likely be thrilled to land the top tight end in the 2014 NFL Draft, Eric Ebron. After also losing big target Hakeem Nicks, Eli Manning would be the happiest member of the New York Giants if 6-foot-4, 250-pound Ebron is still on the board at pick No. 12. He shows incredible athleticism as a receiver and is also an effective blocker.
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