People Picking Anthony Castonzo for the Giants

Via Big Blue View

The more I study the 2011 NFL Draft, and the more I scour the constantly-updated mock drafts, the more often I see Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo connected with the New York Giants when it comes to the 19th selection of the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. It happened again today, as SB Nation chose Castonzo for the Giants in their latest mock draft.

It appears that USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith is more and more the consensus choice as the first offensive tackle likely to be taken this April, and having answered concerns about his size at the NFL Scouting Combine that makes sense. By all accounts he is the most natural athlete of any of the tackles and seems to have the most upside. Castonzo is in the group right behind Smith, and makes sense for the Giants. The fact that scouts believe he has left tackle ability, plus the Boston College connection, make him a natural for New York.

What do people think? Would you be happy with this pick?

For the past several seasons I have wanted the Giants to address their offensive lines. As several teams have proven throughout the years, you win games in the trenches. The Giants had a great offensive line, but injuries and age have caught up with them.

Shaun O’hara is not the center he once was. Perhaps it had more to do with his injury than his age, but this season he was awful. I would spend my week praying he was too injured to go out so Adam Koets or Rich Seubert could play at center instead. David Deihl has been a good player for us, but is probably better positioned for guard than he is for left tackle. And Kareem Mckenzie is slowing down and has been injury prone.

We have some youth when you consider Will Beatty and Koets, but neither has stepped up to the point that you would be comfortable with them as our starters. Shawn Andrews played great for us, but he showed last season that he is injury prone as well.

By adding a top talent at left tackle we could vastly improve our offensive line, which in turn would improve our running game, allowing us to go back to a smash mouth style of football.

In short, I think I would be happy with this selection, though for arguments sake I can see the Giants going in other directions as well.

Two players I have my eyes on are OLB Akeem Ayers and DT Corey Liuget. Both players are guys I feel confident will do well in the NFL and they are both guys that not only fill needs for the Giants, but are good values for the 19th pick.

Ayers is a linebacker from UCLA who excels in every facet of the game. He is stout against the run, great in coverage, and a good blitzer. Analysts believe he is headed for a 3-4 defense, but I think he would fit in great with the Giants aggressive style. He is like a more polished Clint Sintim. Even with the resources the Giants have put into linebacker in the previous seasons, the unit has not gotten a lot better. I think Goff did a great job and should be allowed to continue to develop in the middle, but Boley was unimpressive last season, and Sintim was eventually taken off the field. I understand Sintim was a high draft pick, and I agree he needs time to develop, but if the coaching staff has lost faith in Sintim, Ayers could be a great pick and a real game-changer at linebacker.

Liuget is a gap-shooting defensive tackle from Illinois with a high motor. He would be the pass rusher we thought we were going to get with Jay Alford only better. With Cofield set to be a free agent, and Rocky Bernard failing to make an impact he could be a big help. As we saw last season, the Giants love to stockpile pass rushers, and Liuget would be a good addition. We just drafted Linval Joseph, and have a lot of money invest in Chris Canty, so I can see the Giants going in another direction, but I don’t think they would go wrong with this pick. I see Lieguet being that long lost presence in the middle to make life easier for our talented group of defensive ends. He would be our first dominant player in the middle since Washington signed away Cornelius Griffin.

The Giants have tons of talent on both sides of the ball, and little holes to speak of. With that comes the luxury of being able to take the top talent. Like I have mentioned we have options at all these positions, but these players would still be upgrades and make the Giants stronger.

Again these are just my thoughts on the upcoming draft. What do you guys think? Any players I didn’t mention that you think would be a good fit for the Giants? Do you disagree with any of the players I picked?

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