Rolando McClain, considered by many to be the best inside linebacker in this year’s draft class, will make a pre-draft visit to the Giants on April 12.

McClain, as many of you have seen, has been linked to the Giants in many draft previews and mock drafts. The Giants, who have the 15th overall pick in the draft, have a pretty big hole at middle linebacker since Antonio Pierce was released in February. The 6-3, 249-pound ‘backer is an obvious choice for the Giants.

Now just because McClain is coming in for a pre-draft visit, doesn’t mean he’s the Giants’ main first-round target. Each team is allowed to bring in 30 players for pre-draft visits, plus an unlimited number of “local players” – players who grew up or went to school in a team’s designated area. And the Giants don’t always bring in the players they are planning to draft.

However, bringing in McClain for a visit is a pretty good indication that the Giants are interested. Several NFL sources have said the Giants like McClain a lot. Though he has been heralded as one of the best defensive prospects in the draft, McClain has received some criticism. At Alabama, McClain played inside linebacker in the 3-4, leaving some scouts to wonder whether McClain can succeed in a different defensive scheme at the next level. In an interview earlier this week, McClain said that despite playing in a 3-4 he’s confident he can succeed as a middle linebacker in a 4-3. “I know I can excel in either defense,” he said.

Middle linebacker is the number one need for the Giants. Last season, the defense was one of the worst to ever wear a Giants uniform. It was clear when Antonio Pierce suffered his season-ending injury (maybe career-ending) the defense wasn’t the same without its heart-and-soul and vocal leader at middle ‘backer. With the 15th pick, an offensive player shouldn’t even be mentioned in the discussions. The Giants need to draft a linebacker; the Giants need to draft Rolando McClain.

Photo Credit: Getty Images