And finally we arrive. The draft is tomorrow and today we take a look at the Giants’ biggest need in the coming days:
Specifically, of course, we’re talking about middle linebacker. The Giants have parted with Antonio Pierce and while Jerry Reese has pointed to a few names on the roster I don’t think anyone is particularly comfortable going into the 2010 season with Gerris Wilkinson as the starting middle linebacker. They are pretty solid on the outside with Michael Boley and Clint Sintim (although Sintim still must be placed in the “unproven” category) but I’m told they are not ruling out outside linebackers.
Will they find a starting middle linebacker in this draft? They’ll be looking. And who they pick will have a lot more to do with WHEN they pick than who they like the most. The player most often associated with the Giants is Rolando McClain, and there’s no reason to think he’s not at the top of the Giants’ wish list. They might have to trade up if they want him, though.
Should they rely on a rookie at the center of their defense? Well, the Giants wouldn’t need that player to really RUN the defense. Last year, after Pierce was gone with his neck problem, Boley took over the playcalling. He’s the linebacker who will be on the field for all three downs and will probably be in the middle on third downs and other passing situations. So the Giants just need someone who can hold the middle on first and second downs, help stop the run, and stay within himself. Surely they can find that in the first few rounds.
Some names to look at:
Rolando McClain (Alabama), Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri), Navorro Bowman (Penn State), Sergio Kindle (Texas), Brandon Spikes (Florida), Pat Angerer (Iowa), Sean Lee (Penn State).