The 2015 NFL Draft officially begins one week from tonight, and in advance of the 80th annual player selection meeting, Giants general manager Jerry Reese met with the media for his usual pre-draft press conference today at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
This will be Reese's ninth draft as general manager, and fittingly the Giants hold the ninth pick in the first round.
This is the time of year when personnel departments play it close to the vest, but here are five questions heading into the last week of preparations before the draft kicks off in Chicago on April 30.
1. How does Big Blue repeat the success of the last two drafts?
The Giants are working to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2011, and they could use another strong draft to put them over the top. The last two classes have included starters like Justin Pugh, Johnathan Hankins, Andre Williams, Devon Kennard, Weston Richburg and 2014 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Odell Beckham Jr.
"I still believe, very strongly, in Jerry Reese and our organization," Giants president and chief executive officer John Mara said at the end of last season. "We have a lot of quality people working here. We have had two very strong drafts in a row. We need to have another one. I think with that and with another year under this new offense, we have a chance to be a good team next year. Obviously, that is a tough sell right now when you go 7-9 and 6-10, but I still have a very strong belief in this staff and in this organization. I think we are going to be a good team next year, but we need another strong draft."
2. How has free agency affected the draft plans?
The Giants brought in eight veteran players from other teams via free agency, including running back Shane Vereen, defensive end George Selvie, linebackers Jonathan Casillas and J.T. Thomas, defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis, defensive back Josh Gordy, wide receiver and return specialist Dwayne Harris and offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse. Free agency is about filling holes, and we'll see how the Giants plug in the rest through the draft.
3. Would the Giants draft another wide receiver in the first round?
If the draft unfolds a certain way, one good turn could deserve another at wide receiver. Amari Cooper of Alabama or DeVante Parker of Louisville have been projected to the Giants in some mock drafts. But would the Giants go that route after taking Beckham in the first round last year?
4. What does the safety position look like?
After parting ways with defensive co-captain Antrel Rolle in free agency, the Giants have no returning starting safeties currently on the roster. While coach Tom Coughlin said last month that a couple cornerbacks could get looks at safety, the two on the roster are Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor. Last week the Giants also added defensive back Josh Gordy, who has played in 59 regular-season games with 11 starts (eight at cornerback, one at free safety and two as an extra defensive back). Meanwhile, the top safeties out there in the draft, according to NFL.com's Mike Mayock, are Damarious Randall (Arizona State), Landon Collins (Alabama), and Shaq Thompson (Washington).
5. Is there a premium on bolstering the lines?
Two of Coughlin's biggest concerns coming out of last season were running the ball more effectively as well as stopping the run on defense. On the offensive side, the Giants have already moved around some pieces, releasing starting center J.D. Walton and signing CFL star Brett Jones. Meanwhile, Coughlin has said that Weston Richburg, who started 15 games at guard as a rookie, will have every opportunity to compete at center, which is his preferred position. On the other side, as mentioned above, the Giants bolstered the defensive line in free agency, but with Steve Spagnuolo back as defensive coordinator, a team can never have enough depth up front.