<
>

Giants could continue to add pieces on defense in second round

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Just because they spent more than $100 million in guaranteed money and their top-10 pick on defense, don't assume the New York Giants are targeting offensive players in Friday night's second and third rounds of the NFL draft.

It's true there are needs still on the offensive side of the ball. They could reasonably address offensive line, wide receiver or tight end on Friday night and believe they've filled a key need.

But if the best players on the board play defense, don't be shocked if they use that No. 40 overall pick to continue to beef up a unit that ranked last in the NFL with 420.3 yards per game allowed in 2015.

A lot of good players remain on the board with the Giants holding the ninth pick of the second round and the eighth pick of the third. Here's a look at some potential options:

Linebacker: Reggie Ragland (Alabama), Myles Jack (UCLA). It's not a stretch to think that Ragland immediately would be the best linebacker on the Giants' roster -- an all-around player with run-stopping ability and a better pass-rusher than some think. The Giants like him; the question is whether they think he's better than what they have at the position (Keenan Robinson, Jasper Brinkley, etc.) to justify a pick as high as No. 40 overall. As for Jack, we know the issue -- a top-five talent who fell out of the first round because of concerns about his knee. The Giants decided days ago not to use the No. 10 overall pick on him, and I'd be surprised if they used the No. 40, but you can't rule it out completely.

Defensive end: Noah Spence (Eastern Kentucky), Kevin Dodd (Clemson). Spence is the super-talented pass-rusher who got kicked out of Ohio State for failed drug tests. Makes you wonder, given what happened Thursday with Laremy Tunsil, whether the Giants would give him a look. I doubt Dodd will be the highest player on their board at 40, but should he slip into the third round, he'd be great value there.

Defensive tackle: Jarran Reed (Alabama), Andrew Billings (Baylor). Johnathan Hankins is entering the final year of his contract, but in the meantime, adding a stud interior defensive lineman to a rotation that already includes Hankins, Damon Harrison and Jay Bromley could really solidify the Giants at a critical spot for a long time to come.

Safety: Vonn Bell (Ohio State). Coverage skills could make him the natural free safety the Giants didn't have last year and might not have on the roster now, no matter how high their hopes for Nat Berhe and Mykkele Thompson.

If they go offense: OT Jason Spriggs (Indiana), OL Cody Whitehair (Kansas State), TE Hunter Henry (Arkansas), WR Braxton Miller (Ohio State), WR Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma). This is only a partial list, of course. But Spriggs could be an immediate starting at right tackle and Whitehair could play tackle or guard. They like Henry as a versatile tight end who can block and run routes. And there's a ton of wide receiver talent available in both rounds. I expect them to address offense (most likely the line) with at least one of Friday's picks. And if the board falls a certain way, they could come out with two new offensive players.