With the same advice over and over, Giants message boards are starting to sound like a line from Die Hard. “We must capture McClain at any cost” has been the oft-repeated refrain. Drooling over the Alabama inside linebacker, whose stock has risen in the weeks approaching the draft, Giants fans seem to universally be advocating trading up to get Rolando McClain, who surely won’t be hanging around at 15 when the G-men pick.
The Giants have needs at many positions. And of course they should draft that game- changing player if one slips through the cracks, a McClain, or a CJ Spiller (the Clemson running back). But my opinion is that none of the many Giant weaknesses in 2009 were quite so glaring as their pass defense. And the available draft pick best equipped to address this weakness is USC Safety Taylor Mays.
Strong and athletic, Mays would give the Giants toughness over the middle on passing downs, and hopefully would eliminate a lot of the big plays that ruined many a Sunday that looked like it was going well for a while for Big Blue fans.
Trade rumors have swirled around Osi Umenyiora, and I don’t have a problem getting rid of the enigmatic end. His performance has been spotty and the Giants are deep at the position. And I also don’t have a problem with the indication that Brandon Jacobs and/or Ahmad Bradshaw are expendable, as the Giants’ supposed interest in Spiller would imply. There’s more than one way to improve a team that sagged in so many areas in 2009, and these are both valid directions.
What I don’t want to see is an over-valuing of McClain or Spiller and trading the farm to move up. Conversely I also don’t want to see the Giants go need-only, and draft a weaker safety, like the smaller Earl Thomas out of Texas. I’m counting on Jerry Reese and the rest of the Giants brass to do their homework and know exactly who can help them the best in a variety of scenarios of who is taken and who is available.
Should the Giants pick Idaho Guard Mike Iupati, as Sports Guy Bill Simmons and other mock drafters are predicting, there will be booing at the Radio City Music Hall for sure! Although I’m sure he can help us even if his name doesn’t ring true with fans the way the big school prospects do, I’m expecting a much more obvious sign of the Giants desire to fix things with either picking Mays or a trade up for McClain or Spiller
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Written by Mark Reichman