NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 7 Needs
1. LB - 3.0
2. CB - 3.0
3. OT - 2.5
4. RB - 2.0
5. OC - 2.0
6. S - 2.0
7. TE - 1.5
Position by Position Breakdown
Quarterbacks - Manning's turnovers were problematic, but a big chunk of them weren't his fault. Rosenfels is his top backup and entering the final year of his contract. It makes sense for them to use a late round pick on a developmental guy, but they haven't had much success with that in recent years, having missed on guys like Andre Woodson and Rhett Bomar. NEED: 1.0
Running Back - Bradshaw emerged as their lead rusher and had a solid year. His contract is up, and the team wants to re-sign him, but won't overpay him. Jacobs is still on the roster and has a few years left on his deal. He wants out, but offers very little trade value. They would love to replace him, but just won't give him away. Expect them to look at the draft to try and find another complement to Bradshaw in the middle rounds. NEED: 2.0
Fullback - Hedgecock is a solid lead blocker, but he missed most of the season. Bear Pascoe proved a serviceable backup. NEED: 1.0
Wide Receiver - Nicks and Manningham proved their top playmakers, but Smith is their chain mover. His contract is up, but they will likely make a strong push to bring him back. If they can get Smith back, then the only real issue is who will be the No. 4 guy. Someone like Devin Thomas or Ramses Barden would have the inside track. Guys like Hixon, Clayton, and Hagan are free agents and probably should walk. NEED: 1.0
Tight End - Boss is a decent complement and redzone target, but he's not a playmaker and the Giants might be looking for such a player. His contract is also up and while he should be back, they probably won't break the bank for him. Beckum made some decent contributions off the bench, but not to the point that they should be sold he's anything more than what he is today. They might use the draft to add a more dynamic option in the middle of the field. NEED: 1.5
Offensive Tackle - David Diehl missed 4 starts due to injury, but wasn't spectacular before his injury either. The team has envisioned him moving to left guard whenever they found a left tackle worthy of replacing him. Will Beatty flashed tools in his 2 starts to replace him, but wasn't consistent enough for the team to be super confident he can be left there. He probably needs another year of development before he can be trusted. On the other side, Kareem McKenzie had a solid year, but he'll be 31 this year and is entering the final season of his contract. There isn't a strong candidate currently on the roster besides Shawn Andrews. Andrews is due a roster bonus, and given that his back issues flaired up again this year, the team may be reluctant to pay it in order to keep him. So if that happens, expect adding a right tackle candidate to groom behind McKenzie for a year to be a priority. NEED: 2.5
Offensive Guard - The injury to O'Hara forced Seubert to move to center for a chunk of the year, thinning out their play here. Kevin Boothe was a pretty good injury fill-in, and is a free agent. They'll probably want to bring him back because of the depth he provides, especailly since Seubert has a knee injury that may cause him to miss the starter of the 2011 season. They might not be able to afford losing him and Andrews this off-season. Snee is solid on the other side. NEED: 1.5
Center - O'Hara missed a big chunk of the season, but Seubert was a solid fill-in for him. Their problem is that there is not a good strong, young candidate for the future. 2011 is the last year on O'Hara's deal, and he'll be 34 this season. Seubert is signed through 2012, but he'll be 32. Adam Koets gave little to suggest he's a good option. It would be smart for them to address the lack of an heir apparent in April. NEED: 2.0
Defensive Tackle - Cofield is a free agent and not that long ago didn't look like he was in their long-term plans. But he's a nice interior pass rusher that also plays the run fairly well, so he should be back. Canty hasn't been great, but had a nice year beside him. Rocky Bernard helps fill out the rotation, and the team likes Linval Joseph in the future. This is only a need if they lose Cofield. NEED: 1.0
Defensive End - The possibility of trading Umenyiora probably still exists because he wants a raise. But it's likely less than it seemed a year ago, unless some team comes and blows them away with an offer. Kiwanuka is a free agent and probably won't be back due to him coming off a neck injury. Jason Pierre-Paul seems poised to fill in. Justin Tuck is solid and Tollefson should be back at a modest price. The Giants won't ever shy away from a good edge rusher, but that only seems like a possibility this April if a really good player falls into the middle/late rounds. NEED: 1.0
Linebacker - Goff was good, albeit not great in the middle. But he played at a level good enough that they probably would be willing to give him another year as the starter to see how much growth he can make. Boley is entrenched on the outside, although he hasn't quite lived up to his price tag. Bulluck was a serviceable starter on the strongside for half the year, but probably won't be back. Sintim has contributed very little, and they probably will look in the draft to add an option on the outside to be the new starter. Blackburn provides capable depth behind both Goff and Boley, and losing him to free agency would open up a hole there. NEED: 3.0
Cornerback - Thomas and Webster are a solid pair, but had their issues throughout the year. Ross hasn't rebounded since a strong rookie year, and this is the last year of his contract. Expect the team to make a serious move to upgrade their depth by adding a guy that can push Ross in the nickel as well as be a potential starter in a year or two in case Thomas and Webster don't have bounce-back years. NEED: 3.0
Safety - I'm still not sure why the Giants thought Antrel Rolle would be an upgrade to their pass defense. He struggled in coverage throughout the year, and is not the ballhawk they paid him to be. Kenny Phillips is solid at strong safety. Deon Grant added value in their nickel packages, but he's a free agent, and even at age 32 probably could get a chance to start elsewhere. But they would be smart to bring him back for depth at the least. They should look to the draft to add a developmental free safety to groom behind Rolle, who might not be a Giant for that much longer if he doesn't improve in 2011. NEED: 2.0
Kicker - There is nothing special about Lawrence Tynes, but besides bringing a guy off the street to possibly push him in camp, there isn't much need here. NEED: 0.0
Punter - Dodge earned infamy with his botched punt that helped the Giants blow their game against the Eagles, but he had a nice rookie season and should get an opportunity to improve in 2011. NEED: 0.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.