Amani Toomer knows the value of a quality offensive line.
The Giants' all-time leading receiver in catches, yards and touchdowns has a Super Bowl ring in part because he played with one. And that's why he looked to the trenches -- and not wide receiver -- in predicting the team's draft pick this year in advance of the first round, which begins Thursday night in Chicago.
During a mock draft on Giants.com, Toomer took Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff off the board for the Giants at No. 9.
"I think Scherff is the one that really intrigues me because he has that versatility that Jerry Reese likes in the offensive linemen," Toomer said. "Also with the retirement of Chris Snee, this is a guy built right out of that same mold -- a real aggressive, kind of physical guy that finishes plays. I think that this is a definite opportunity for the Giants to ignite that depth [on] the offensive line."
Added Toomer: "You have to make that position to be a strength. Look at what the Dallas Cowboys did in the division. So this is one of the areas that I think the Giants can improve on dramatically because we all know when Eli Manning has time, he's a much better quarterback than when he's under duress."
Nineteen years after the Giants selected him out of Michigan in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft, Toomer also said that the secondary could come into play, particularly if Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes is available.
"This is definitely the best corner on the board," Toomer said. "So right now, I think when you look at the way that the Giants pick, you always have to look at the best player available. So if that scenario comes true and the Giants are sitting there looking at their best player, Trae Waynes could very easily be the best person on the board at this time."
On the other hand, Toomer doesn't see the Giants using their first-round pick on a defensive tackle or his former position, saying that the wide receiver room is already pretty crowded.
"I don't know if you're going to go throw another first-rounder, another starter quality player there," Toomer said of adding a wide receiver. "It's just going to be a little bit of overkill for that position. I think the Giants' wide receiver position has not been one of the weaknesses of this team."
Check out photos of OT Brandon Scherff from the University of Iowa