Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New York Giants Draft Preview: Tight End

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching, as we get closer to the primetime opening round April 25th.  This will be the fourth part in the series where I will discuss the current outlook and needs for the upcoming NFL Draft for the New York Giants.

The fourth position I will take a look at is Tight End.

At Tight End the depth chart for the Giants includes Brandon Myers, Bear Pascoe, Adrien Robinson, Larry Donnell and Jamie Childers.  The Giants have two tight ends from last year that look like they will not be on the roster as “The Black Unicorn” Martellus Bennett signed with the Chicago Bears and Travis Beckum remains a free agent.

The Giants wanted to retain Bennett after he had a breakout year with the Giants this past season coming over from the Dallas Cowboys catching 55 balls for 626 yards and five touchdowns. They were not willing to pay as much as the Bears though, who gave Bennett a four-year deal worth around $20 million.  Those are numbers that the newly acquired Myers could surpass this season if the Giants incorporate him into the passing offense as much as Bennett was.

Myers last season had 79 receptions for 806 yards and four touchdowns catching passes from Carson Palmer on the Oakland Raiders.  The problem that presents with Myers replacing Bennett is the drop off in run blocking, something that he will need to improve on to get more snaps as Manning will undoubtedly look towards his receiving tandem of Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz more often than not.

Myers has a legitimate chance to become a viable third option alongside Rueben Randle as his pass catching abilities are not in doubt.  Myers will have his chance to shine in the passing game as well because Pascoe is not a big threat in the passing game; he is used more as a blocking tight end and H-back that the Giants like to move around the field in a number of packages.  Robinson has tons of potential but will need to show that he is ready to make an impact in training camp and workouts as the Giants are also impressed with what Donnell brings to the table as well.

The last time the Giants drafted a tight end in the draft was Robinson in the fourth round of 2012.  Bringing Myers on board most likely takes the Giants out of the running from a tight end early in the draft, as they will give him a chance first before looking elsewhere and history shows the Giants to not value tight ends highly in the draft, rarely taking them in the first two rounds. 

Tight end has been a revolving door for the Giants recently though, as Myers will be the fourth starting tight end in four years for the Giants.   The top tight ends in this draft are Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame and Zach Ertz of Stanford, but both are expected to go in the first two rounds and are most likely not in the Giants radar.

One name to keep an eye on for later in the draft though is Michigan State’s Dion Sims.  Sims is confident in himself saying that he is the best tight end in the draft and he has the peripherals to back it up standing 6’4”.  He also displays some traits similar to Bennett so fitting him into the team’s scheme should not be too hard.  The basketball background that Sims has gives an idea of the athleticism he possess, as he uses his soft hands and big frame to go up for passes in traffic like grabbing a rebound on the court.

On a scale of 1-10 the Giants need for a tight end is a 4. Depth is a concern if Myers goes down with injury, but it is not a pressing need for the Giants in the draft.  If someone happens to fall into their lap that they like they will take him, otherwise the Giants will stick to their big board and take the players they think fits their team best.

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