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Fact or Fiction: Robert Ayers to start?

Robert Ayers will eventually start at defensive end opposite Jason Pierre-Paul.

  • MICHAEL EISEN: Fact -I don't know if he'll be a fulltime starter, but he'll almost certainly start some games there.
  • JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -Ayers is really the perfect fit to take over for Justin Tuck at left end. He has excellent size and is proficient against the run. He can get after the quarterback, too, but he won't sell out to do it. Exactly what the Giants need from that spot.
  • DAN SALOMONE: Fact -Starts can be deceiving in the NFL at some positions, and that's true along the defensive line. It's all about snaps when you're talking impact, and I think Ayers will earn the majority playing opposite JPP. He's a complete player like Justin Tuck was for his now-former team. I like what the Giants have done in free agency in signing players like Ayers who are veterans but still have careers ahead of them.

With their free-agent signings, the Giants can truly select the best player available in the 2014 NFL Draft.

  • MICHAEL EISEN: Fact -That almost certainly would have been their strategy, anyway.
  • JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -The Giants have done a lot to fill their holes, giving themselves a lot more options in the draft, but there are still needs that have to be addressed. The Giants only have three tight ends on the roster, none of which has started in the league. They also haven't added a WR to replace Hakeem Nicks other than Mario Manningham. With all that said, the bottom line is this: If the Giants believe the best player on the board when they pick at 12 is a quarterback (or even a CB), I don't think they pick that person. Therefore, this is FICTION!
  • DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -It's their strategy to pick value over need -- and they certainly gave themselves options -- but can I say with certainty that, for example, they would pick a cornerback in the first round, which could very well be the best available at No. 12? No, I can't. Not because of the depth they have in the secondary right now due to moves in free agency.

The Giants will have fewer three-safety looks because of increased depth at cornerback.

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MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - **If Antrel Rolle, Will Hill and Stevie Brown are all healthy, the three-safety alignment should be a big part of Perry Fewell's defense.

  • JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -They will have more three-safety looks than they did in 2013, but fewer than they did in 2012. This year, however, I think the safety will be replacing the linebacker in sub-packages rather than a cornerback. I don't like Antrel Rolle in the slot. We saw how good he could be last year playing his natural position and I don't want to move him from there. Move Will Hill into the box as a quasi-LB in a small nickel package and let him run support and help cover tight ends.
  • DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and the rest of the coaching staff are going to have some good problems in installing game plans this year. As we know, Fewell likes to get as many playmakers on the field at the same time. Rolle, Hill, and Brown are exactly that.

Signing four new offensive linemen in free agency makes it less likely the Giants will draft one in the first round.

  • MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction -This goes back to No. 1. If the best player on the board is an O-lineman, the Giants are going to take him. The object is to collect good players.
  • JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -It might make it less likely, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. The Giants could still use youth and depth on the offensive line, especially inside where both Chris Snee and J.D. Walton have injury concerns. Will Beatty is also coming off a serious leg injury. Besides, if a real franchise left tackle is there at 12, those types of players are hard to pass up.
  • DAN SALOMONE: Fact -I think there's still more than a 50 percent chance they will, but what the Giants have done is the point of free agency: don't pigeonhole yourself in the draft. They didn't put all their chips on the No. 12 pick in terms of solving the offensive line.
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