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Eisen's Mailbag: Answering fan questions

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Today's edition of The Mailbag on Giants.com.

Why did the Giants draft a backup running back in the first round when Courtney Upshaw was still available or we could have gotten an O-lineman?

*Dear Raul: *
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David Wilson was selected with the final pick in the first round because he was the highest-graded player remaining on the Giants' draft board. As we've said many times, the Giants' goal in the draft is to get as many good players as possible, regardless of position. With Wilson, they believe they secured the very best player available to them at that time. *

And I'm not buying the backup reasoning. During the course of a season, you need more than one running back to be successful. The Giants have demonstrated that in recent years. Ahmad Bradshaw has played a full 16-game schedule only once and he has well-documented foot issues. The Giants not only got a highly-rated player, they filled a need. To me, Wilson was a logical and sound selection.

Anyone who follows the draft knows that it isn't the first choice that makes a great draft great, it's the guys a team picks after that. The Giants have a history of picking up the overlooked and undervalued players later. My question is: Do the Giants continue to use their "highest on the board" philosophy on later rounds or do they look more for need picks later on?

Dear Peter: *
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The Giants always stay true to their draft board and ever reach for a player to fill a positional need. All of their selections were either the highest-graded player on their board at the time or in a virtual tie for that designation. In situations where two players had virtually identical grades, then the Giants might select the one that fills a more obvious need. Late in the draft for example, they did want to add linemen. They did so, because the grades warranted the selections. By doing so, the Giants added later round choices they believe will help them and could eventually compete for starting jobs.

What is the Giants plan at LB? It was not addressed in the draft, and still seems to be a loose end as it has been the last few seasons. It kind of seems like the Giants have been mixing and matching the LB core with guys in and out of natural positions, and have just not solidified that area of concern.

*Dear Todd: *

*I don't see where linebacker was a great need entering the draft. The Giants added Keith Rivers in a trade. He was the ninth overall selection in the 2008 draft and he has been a very good player when healthy. His issue has been staying on the field. Rivers, Michael Boley and Jacquian Williams are all natural weakside linebackers. Mathias Kiwanuka is a fixture on the strong side. Chase Blackburn, who was re-signed, Mark Herzlich and Greg Jones can compete in the middle. Boley is also a possibility there. Spencer Paysinger is still here. It seems to me the Giants have plenty of high-quality candidates at linebacker. If we're mixing and matching with that group, I don't think that's a bad thing.  How they eventually line up will be sorted out in the spring drills and training camp.

*When does rookie mini camp start?
*
Dear Nik,

Rookie Mini Camp will be held Thursday, May 10th-13. Giants.com will cover the event so be sure to log on during those days!

*Submit your questions, HERE or on Twitter using #EisensMailbag

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