Yesterday, I stated my case for a Giant dynasty and some tough free agent decisions they’ll have to make. 

Today, we’ll dive into three areas of need for the defending Super Bowl Champs. While some teams decide to address needs through free agent signings, the Giants have built their championship teams through the NFL Draft. Since their last Super Bowl championship in 2007, the Giants have added seven impact starters in the draft. More impressively, the Giants have struck gold with their last four first round picks. Going into the 2012 NFL Draft, the Giants can choose one of three routes to fill some obvious voids.

2010 First Rounder, JPP

The Giants’s last five four round picks (Kenny Phillips, Hakeem Nicks, JPP, and Prince Amukamara) have all turned out to be good professional players. Many expect Prince Amukamara to take the next step in 2012 and join his fellow first rounders in the ‘elite’ stratosphere. While these first round talents have been good, the Giants have snagged Terrell Thomas in the second round and Mario Manningham in the third. Bottom line, the Giants have had good drafts and their success is no fluke. Going into the 2012 NFL Draft, here are three directions that the Giants could go:

1. Offensive Linemen

It’s no secret that the Giant offensive line needs an infusion of youth. Averaging 29 years per lineman, the Giants offensive line is among the league’s oldest units. Since 2007, the Giants have only used one of their 17 draft picks on an offensive lineman (Will Beatty, 2009). Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie aren’t getting any younger and Eli was under constant pressure during the playoffs.

Our friends at draft countdown project the Giants to select Wisconsin center, Peter Konz with its first rounder. In recent memory, Wisconsin offensive line have gone in the first round (think Joe Thomas and Gabe Carimi). Konz would anchor the Giant offensive line for the next decade and provide an instant upgrade upfront.

2. Linebacker

Chase Blackburn, who is set to become a free agent, was teaching high schoolers before the Giants called him and asked him to join their defense. Blackburn play admirably for the Giants, but if the right offer comes, he may bolt. That leaves the Giants with a hole in the middle that Greg Jones likely can’t fill. Michael Boley, who was in-and-out of the lineup with injuries, will need a counterpart. 

Back at Draft Countdown, Luke Kuelchy from Boston College may be an option. Kuelchy set all-time records at Boston College for tackles and reminds scouts of James Laurinits. Also, keep an eye on Alabama linebacker, Dont’a Hightower, but I highly doubt he’ll be available.

3. Tight End

Free agent to be, Jake Ballard tore his ACL during the Super Bowl and the Bear Pascoe/Travis Beckum tandem doesn’t exactly scare anyone. The Giant wide receivers are lethal, but an explosive tight end may make this passing attack even scarier. 

Unlike past drafts, there is not a premiere tight end talent in this class. Of note, Clemson tight end, Dwayne Allen, who is 6’4″, 255 pounds, is the best tight end in this class. Allen is your tradition, inline blocking tight end that was used in the backfield. Allen is bigger than New England’s Aaron Hernandez, but brings similar toughness and pass catching ability. 

While the draft is 76 days away, it’s never too early to start thinking about the draft. Holes are holes and the Giants must address those holes in the best way possible–through the first round of the NFL Draft.