*STATEMENT: The Giants should focus on improving their defense in the NFL Draft
*EISEN: Fact - And their offense. And their special teams. That's the idea behind the draft – improve your team. Should the defense be targeted more than the offense? I don't know if I'd say that. It would certainly be beneficial acquire more weapons for Eli Manning. The defense could use a linebacker or two and probably a safety, but I wouldn't reach to draft a player at those positions if a better offensive player is available.
SCHMEELK: Fiction - When a team decides they have to fill a certain need heading into a draft, that's when they make mistakes. Jerry Reese and the Giants organization are always going to draft the best player available. Cornerback was hardly a need at draft time last year, but Prince Amukamara was the right pick. Jason Pierre Paul wasn't a need pick either. With injuries and the other unknowns of a NFL season, a team never knows where they will need depth or help. The one thing a NFL team always knows they need is good players. Draft good players and the coach will find them playing time.
SALOMONE:Fiction - Jerry Reese's track record has shown that he and the organization will go for the best player available, and how do you argue with those results? Rather than get pigeonholed and go for a player based solely on position, Reese and company "slow play" it and see how the draft unfolds. And that's not even mentioning what could happen between now and the draft with player movement.
STATEMENT: OTA's and Minicamps become more important with fewer training camp practices scheduled due to the new CBA
*EISEN:Fact - That's the instant reaction, because it's logical to say with less time on the field at training camp, the Giants have to take advantage of the opportunities they get on the field in the spring. On the other hand, the Giants had no OTAs and no minicamp last year and won the Super Bowl. But last year was obviously unusual because of the lockout. Tom Coughlin would certainly say fewer on-field opportunities mean each one becomes more important and I'm not about to disagree with him.
SCHMEELK: Fact - All the time the coaching staff has on the field with its players becomes more important with no two-a-day practices during training camp. That goes for OTA's, minicamp, and ever practice during training camp. They must make the most of all of it, and the most of all classroom time as well.
SALOMONE:Fact - Two-a-days had been a staple of football at every level, but now that they are banned, coaches have to find ways to make up for it. That leads to more time in the position rooms, but all players are different and some learn more efficiently on the actual field. That means coaches and players must soak up every hands-on minute they can get on the turf.
*STATEMENT: The 2012 regular season backup to RB Ahmad Bradshaw is currently on the roster
*EISEN:Fact - I like Da'Rel Scott and believe he has a good chance to be a consistent contributor in 2012.
SCHMEELK: Fiction - I think the Giants will make a move for either a young dynamic back at some point in the draft or bring in someone more experienced in free agency. It is important to remember that the Giants aren't just looking for a backup to Ahmad Bradshaw, but rather a compliment. With his myriad of injuries, Bradshaw has not shown he can survive 20 carries a game. Someone needs to share the workload with him and neither DJ Ware of Da'Rell Scott has proven they can be that guy.
SALOMONE:Fiction - First, you have to remember that "backup" is a tricky word. What the Giants aim for is a "complement" of backs. With that said, I could see the team bringing in a solid, proven running back, who can shore up the position and be depended on should Ahmad Bradshaw get injured again.
*STATEMENT: Antrel Rolle will record more than five interceptions in 2012
*EISEN:Fiction - Rolle has played seven NFL seasons and never had more than five interceptions in his career. I'm not prepared to predict he will do something he's never done.
SCHMEELK: Fiction - I say fiction only because I don't know what his role is going to be. If you told me he was back playing his traditional safety position roaming around the secondary, I might say fact. But if he plays a lot of slot corner or has a large run support role close to the line of scrimmage then he won't. It's great to have such a versatile player, but predicting his production can be difficult.
SALOMONE:Fiction - I'm just going by the numbers here. He's had five interceptions once in his career (2007) and three of them came in one game against the Bengals. His role on the Giants both on the field and in the locker room is only going to increase, and as we see where he'll fit into a possible healthy defense, we'll see where that number lands.