A closer look at the positions the New York Giants could target at the NFL combine in Indianapolis:
Positions of need: If you watched the Giants this past season, it was apparent their offense needed help. They could have used another playmaker, and the offensive line needed upgrades. The NFL draft provides an opportunity to add reinforcements that could help immediately and down the road, especially in the early rounds. The Giants’ focus should primarily be on the offense after dipping deep into free agency last year to rebuild their defense. Specifically, they need to target running back, tight end and offensive tackle. Those are three major areas of need after Ereck Flowers struggled badly at left tackle, their running backs (led by the recently cut Rashad Jennings) didn’t have a single run over 25 yards and their tight ends couldn’t block and rarely produced an explosive play. Will Tye, Larry Donnell and Jerell Adams had a combined three receptions of 20-plus yards in 2016, and all three came from Tye. The Giants could use a vertical threat at tight end, and this might be the draft to find one.
Four players the Giants can focus on at combine:
TEs O.J. Howard, Alabama, and David Njoku, Miami: These two are considered the premier tight ends in this year’s draft. ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both had Howard and Njoku being selected in the first round of their latest mock drafts, and both were snagged in the spots just ahead of the Giants’ 23rd-overall pick. The combine will go a long way toward telling whether either of these explosive tight ends is an option for the Giants in the first round. Howard might be the better all-around player, but Njoku’s athletic ability might just make teams drool at the combine. All eyes will be on them.
RB Christian McCaffery, Stanford: Everyone has seen what McCaffery could do at the collegiate level. He was a playmaker extraordinaire, doing damage in every way imaginable, whether it be as a runner, receiver or returner. The question with McCaffery will be whether his playmaking ability transitions seamlessly to the NFL game. How he tests athletically will ultimately determine if he’s a first-round pick. The Giants and the rest of the NFL will be watching closely as he runs the 40-yard dash alongside an extremely talented and deep running back class. Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara, Boise State’s Jeremy McNichols and San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey are other versatile and intriguing players for the Giants to watch at the position.
OT Garett Bolles, Utah: This isn’t considered a strong offensive tackle class. While Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk are the marquee names, Bolles might be the first tackle off the board come April 27. And it’s possible the Giants get their preferred pick of the bunch at No. 23. Bolles has the kind of athleticism that should serve him well at the combine. How he measures and whether he was able to add to his frame during pre-combine training could determine just how early he’s selected in the draft.