Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/13/12
I am going to predict five players the Giants should be eyeing in the first round of the draft. Unfortunately picking this late is never easy, you have to wait to see what player drops to the 32nd pick. Jerry Reese has always been about drafting the Best Player Available,  regardless of the need... this makes my job a little harder.

1) Dontè Hightower- If he makes it past the Ravens and Steelers the Giants won’t hesitate taking him. Jerry Reese has never drafted a LB in the first round during his time in NY (I expect that to change in 2012). The Ravens and Steelers appear to pose a steep obstacle for the Giants in this draft with very similar areas of need at LB, O-line, and RB. If Hightower slips it won’t be past the 32nd pick.

Impact: Hightower could come in and fix the Giants only glaring hole on defense. Hightower is an all around great player, he should put the Giants defense over the top in 2012. I think every Giants fan can understand what the impact of a play making LB would do for NY.

2) Doug Martin would come in and make an immediate impact on the offense in 2012. He would have the role of the number two back this year, but with Bradshaw’s injuries should get plenty of snaps. I think he could challenge Bradshaw to be starter in the near future. The Giants need fresh feet at RB they made the right move letting Jacobs go.

Impact: Martin draws constant comparison to Ray Rice; imagine a RB of that caliper lining up next to Eli Manning.  With Manning playing at an elite level, having a dual threat out of the backfield would drive opposing defenses mad.

3) RT Jonathon Martin Comes to the NFL draft with three years of experience at the college level. It seems most analyst are split on whether he is a 1st or 2nd round selection. Martin is 6 foot 6 and 312 pounds, and needs some work with handing swim moves. Martin is a bit raw, but the right coaching staff could have him ready to contribute early in 2012.

Impact: Martin Could come in and helps out the RT position immediately. If you watched the beating Eli Manning took in the NFC Championship Game then you know the O-line is a must in the draft. The Giants ground game came in at dead last in league last year, and a large part of this was due to the O-line.

4) Alshon Jeffery- The South Carolina prospect ran his 40-yard dash in 4.55. What he lacks in speed he makes up for in size standing 6 foot 3 and weighing 217 pounds. The coaches and scouts have been praising Jeffery for his football IQ, and he could be a great fit in our system. The prospect has never had an Elite QB to throw to him. I would expect to do much better in our system.

Impact: Well the Trio of Receivers won’t be taking much of a hit after all with this selection. Jeffery would make an immediate impact for the Giants inside the red zone with his size at 6’3 and 217 pounds. He has problems creating separation but Cruz and Nicks should draw most attention from the top defenders.  

5) Devon Still standing at 6 foot 5 and weighing 313 pounds. Still would be a great addition for any team. Still is one of the best DT prospects in this year’s draft and would be a day one starter. 

Impact: DT The Giants defensive line would be getting a huge addition to the middle with Devon still. Austin is still unproven and has yet to play (the Giants could look to add depth here). With Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre Paul drawing constant double teams. Still would have the chance to put up considerable sacks on passing downs. Giants’ fans should understand the importance of a solid defensive line.

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