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Giants draft for offense early

The Sports Xchange
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Rather than cave in to the temptation to move up in the draft, the Giants stayed where they were and feel that they came away with some very intriguing talent that represented good value and addressed several needs.

New York spent their first two picks on running back David Wilson and receiver Rueben Randle, the first time they've drafted two offensive skill players since 2002 when they plucked tight end Jeremy Shockey and receiver Tim Carter.

"We just brought in two good football players, both of whom we really like," said director of college scouting Marc Ross of Wilson and Randle. "Hopefully, (they) made us better, more explosive."

In the third round, they picked smallish but aggressive cornerback Jayron Hosley, a ball-hawking defender who in three years at Virginia Tech recorded 12 interceptions.

"He has outstanding cover skills," said Reese. "He can intercept the ball, so we expect him to be in our nickel packages."

Rounding out their draft, the Giants added tight end Adrien Robinson (Cincinnati) and offensive tackle Brandon Mosley (Auburn) in the fourth round; offensive tackle Matt McCants (UAB) in the sixth round; and defensive tackle Markus Kuhn in the seventh round.

"From the standpoint of being where we were at the bottom of each round and remaining there, I think we have addressed some of the circumstances that we had to address with quality people," said head coach Tom Coughlin.

BEST PICK

Wide receiver Rueben Randle: Randle, who can play split wide and in the slot, should be the most ready to step in from day one to contribute as the third receiver.

COULD SURPRISE

Tight end Adrien Robinson: The Giants believe they have what Reese calls the "JPP (defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul) of tight ends" in Robinson. "He's very athletic. We think it's all in front of him," said Coughlin.

A closer look at the Giants picks:

Round 1/32 -- David Wilson, RB, 5-9, 206, Virginia Tech

Will look to supercharge a rushing offense that last year finished last in the league with an 89.2 yards per game average.

Round 2/63 - Rueben Randle, WR, 6-2, 208, Louisiana State

Gives the Giants options in both the slot and as the split end. Will compete for the third receiver spot.

Round 3/94 - Jayron Hosely, CB, 5-10, 178, Virginia Tech

Smallish ball hawker who will likely play in the nickel, and make a strong push for the punt returner job.

Round 4/127 - Adrien Robinson, TE, 6-4, 264, Cincinnati

Primarily a blocking tight end with limited experience as a receiver. Team hopes he flourishes under the tutelage of tight ends coach Mike Pope.

Round 4/131 - Brandon Mosley, OT, 6-5, 318, Auburn

A right tackle prospect who is likely a year away from having a significant role in the pros given his limited experience at the college level.

Round 6/201 - Matt McCants, OT, 6-5, 309, Alabama-Birmingham

Five-year player who projects to left tackle. Will likely need to add bulk to better hold his ground against speed rushers.

Round 7/239 - Markus Kuhn, DT, 6-5, 299, North Carolina State

Excels at pushing the pocket and batting down passes despite having limited experience in the game.

--Despite winning a world championship, the Giants saw a major issue with finishing last season with an average of 89.2 rushing yards per game, their lowest under head coach Tom Coughlin.

So the Giants did something about it in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, making running back David Wilson their first running back to be chosen in round one since Ron Dayne was plucked out of Wisconsin back in 2000.

The pick for the Giants, who passed over players such as tight end Coby Fleener, defensive end Courtney Upshaw, offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and receiver Stephen Hill, proved to be another classic case of them taking the best player available on their board at a position that also happened to be a need.

"There are certain players that you evaluate that when you go through the process of the draft, there are slight differences of opinion regarding what you think about regarding his speed or toughness or this and that," said Giants Director of College Scouting Marc Ross. "But in the end, you come away at the end of the report saying, 'This guy is a good football player,' and there is only a handful of players in the draft every year like that. In our meeting, this was one of those guys."

"This kid's a hard-nosed player," added general manager Jerry Reese. "He can run inside and he can run outside."

Wilson, who entered the draft as a junior, set a new Virginia Tech record in his final year of college ball with 1,719 rushing yards, an average of 5.89 yards per attempt. He also scored nine touchdowns and caught 22 passes in 2011.

In addition to his running back duties, Wilson has experience as a kick returner. At Virginia Tech, he tied the school's annual record by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns while accumulating 584 kickoff return yards in his sophomore season, the second-highest yardage by a Hokie. At the end of his career, he had posted 1,324 return yards, fourth-best in school history.

With the Giants having parted with Brandon Jacobs earlier this year, they will be looking for Wilson to complement starter Ahmad Bradshaw, a role that Reese believes the rookie will take to like a hand in glove.

"Ahmad's our led dog," Reese said. "(Wilson) is going to be a nice piece in our running back stable."

Despite his positives, Coughlin was quick to acknowledge the areas that Wilson will have to address once he arrives at the team's headquarters, such as pass protection and ball security. Last season, Wilson had seven fumbles, losing four of them.

Coughlin also said that Wilson offered the potential for the big play, something that was also lacking with the Giants last year, as their longest run from scrimmage was 37 yards, by Bradshaw. In all, the Giants had just 31 big-play runs of 10 or more yards last season.

"(Wilson) is the kind of guy that we felt would add to our present situation in terms of the big play potential" Coughlin said. "He's one of those guys that has the speed and the maneuverability to make the big play and that's what was very important to us at this time."

Wilson, who said that he didn't have much contact with the Giants outside of the Combine, was described by Ross as a "unique" running back who doesn't really mirror anyone else currently in the league.

"He's smaller and faster, but has real thick thighs. He's real powerful for a little guy. His balance is incredible, just the way he can stay on his feet and come out of a pile. But he also has speed."

In other day one news, the Giants announced the signing of unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, a 12-year veteran who played last season with the Saints. Rogers, who is a former Pro Bowler, will provide veteran depth at defensive tackle, replacing Rocky Bernard, who is currently unsigned.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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