New York Giants May Have To Change Early Round Strategy In 2015 NFL Draft


When it comes to the New York Giants and the NFL Draft, there are two constants; they draft based on best available, not for need, and rarely trade down. Could one of those things, possibly even both, change Thursday in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft?

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching, as we are only a day away. For the New York Giants, this is an important day as they will be selecting in the top-10 for the first time since they selected Philip Rivers and traded for Eli Manning. This is an excellent chance to add another impact player after adding wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with their first round pick last year. But, the Giants may have to slightly change from their normal approach to the draft.

The grass is green, the sky is blue and the New York Giants select based on best available not by need, just some things that never change. For the 2015 NFL Draft though, that last one will be challenged as the Giants will be facing an interesting predicament.

In addition to always drafting best available over need, the Giants rarely trade back. The last time they did was in 2006, when they traded down from the 25th spot in the draft with the Pittsburgh Steelers, picking up a third and fourth round pick for their troubles. 2015 could very well be the first time since then that the Giants move back in the draft.

Mock drafts are obviously not the end all, as no one truly knows how the draft will turn out. But they are educated guesses, and based on those guesses, the Giants could be faced with quite a dilemma. They have a glaring need along the offensive line, and are more than likely hoping that Iowa tackle Brandon Scherr falls into their lap. If not him, then one of the players from the other side of the ball along the line such as Dante Fowler Jr. or Vic Beasley could peak their interest.

There is a good chance that Fowler is off the board, and Beasley may not fit the Giants scheme, as some people believe he is a better fit for outside linebacker in a 3-4 base defense than the 4-3 base the Giants play. There is also a chance that Scherff isn’t available, as teams such as the Washington Redskins and New York Jets could also be interested in bringing the Iowa product aboard.

If the board falls like that, the Giants could be staring down West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White or Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper. While it would be enticing to add a player as electric as White or as polished as Cooper, the Giants have to avoid temptation and not select one, even if they are ranked as the top player on the Giants board.

The Giants cannot afford to pour more assets into the wide receiver position no matter how much people want them to. They have used high draft picks there recently, selecting Rueben Randle in the second round in 2012 and Beckham last season, in addition to giving Victor Cruz a large extension in the summer of 2013. Some people will say the Giants need to add a receiver in case Cruz cannot return to his old form, but using the ninth overall pick as Cruz insurance would be an unwise decision.

If the Giants stick in the ninth spot, they will more than likely stretching to take a player, which will improve the chances of a trade down. Other offensive line prospects such as Stanford’s Andrus Peat, Miami (FL) Ereck Flowers or LSU’s La’el Collins should be available in the middle of the first round, if not later; at those spots they would fit value wise and not be a reach for the Giants to select.

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At the same time, the Giants would also pick up extra draft picks, which can only help. The Giants have had struggles recently with depth and on special teams, two things that would both improve with added draft picks.

The Giants are sitting pretty with the No.9 spot, as they have a chance to add a very talented prospect, or add multiple ones by picking up extra picks. There should be no shortage of trade partners should a wide receiver fall a little bit, as the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs could all be in the market for a wide receiver Thursday night.

While it would be hard to imagine the Giants changing their ways Thursday, they cannot afford to select a wide receiver with the ninth pick. While having all those weapons would be nice, this isn’t a Madden franchise and the Giants have plenty of other holes that they need to fill. Breaking the trend of selecting the best available player and not trading down would definitely be different and weird to see from the Giants, but one or the other will have to done Thursday if the board breaks unfavorably like some draft pundits have mocked it doing for Big Blue.

Next: Empire Writes Back 2015 NFL Mock Draft

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