In part three of our four-part series, we’ll discuss what positions the New York Giants need an upgrade in via the draft on the defensive side of the ball. Last year, the unit was nothing short of a disappointment, giving up an average of 26.7 points per game, which was the most for any defense besides the St. Louis Rams and the Detroit Lions. So they obviously need some help. Let’s see which positions they should focus on the most.

Defensive End: It seems like yesterday this was a strong position for the Giants. Now, Michael Strahan is doing Subway commercials and Osi Umenyiora is never necessarily happen with well, anything. Justin Tuck and Matias Kiwanuka are solid, but Kiwanuka has been the coaching staff’s positional lab rat. He needs to stick to defensive end.

Highest round they should draft one? 2nd or 3rd round. This could go lower if they will absolutely not let Kiwanuka play outside linebacker.

Defensive Tackle: Fred Robbins is gone. Not good news. He will have to be replaced via the draft with one of the many great tackles available. The only issue is: what to do with the monster contracts being eaten up by inadequate backups Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard?

Highest round they should draft one? 2nd or 3rd rounds. There is a lot of depth at DT this year, so they can wait and grab someone with first round talent in round two.

Outside Linebacker: On the depth chart, the two starters are listed as Bryan Kehl (never been a starter for a full season before) and Michael Boley (missed five games last year due to injury and suspension).  What does this all mean? You guessed it, the Giants need help at outside linebacker.

Highest round they should draft one? 2nd through 4th round. The Giants need to access where they can get the best value, but they are going to need someone to step in and contribute right away.

Inside Linebacker: Saying the Giants have bigger needs than inside linebacker is like saying their defense was only okay last season. Antonio Pierce left via free agency. When Pierce was injured last year, Chase Blackburn looked completely befuddled. He can play special teams, but he can’t be the defense’s quarterback.

Highest round they should draft one? 1st round. They might have to trade up to get their man, Rolando McClain, because every team drafting behind them who needs a middle linebacker could move up to try to snag him away.

Cornerback: Cornerback is yet another fairly significant need for the Giants. Starter Aaron Ross missed all but four games last year with hamstring issues. Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster are solid, but after that, there is much depth to be desired.

Highest round they should draft one? 3rd or 4th round. It all depends on how well Aaron Ross comes back. Also, if he moves to safety to take over for oft-injured Kenny Phillips, then depth will be needed immediately.

Safety: By far and away the best position on the Giants’ defensive unit. In the beginning of March, the Giants signed Antrel Rolle away from the Cardinals to a 5-year, $37 million contract. He will be the starting free safety. At strong safety, Kenny Phillips will be the starter. As a former first round pick, he needs to show the raw talent that got him drafted in the first round. Hopefully his arthritic knees won’t slow him down.

Highest round they should draft one? 5th round or later. That is assuming Kenny Phillips comes back at 100% after only playing two games last year. New York Giants specialist Mike Utaloski wrote a great piece on the safety situation here.

What do you think Giants fans? Which position would you like them to key on in the upcoming draft on the defensive side of the ball? Come back on Tuesday to check out the final part of our series as we look at the New York Jets defense.