SNY's weekly look at the top players on board for the Giants as they prepare to make the 23rd overall pick of the NFL draft on April 27, complete with who's rising and who's falling throughout the process and as the Giants' potential needs change:
1.) OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin - The Giants' need along the offensive line is obvious, and they are likely to pursue both a tackle and a guard this offseason as they attempt to upgrade the right side of their line. Going young and through the draft is always a good idea, and this 6-6, 314-pound left tackle gives them options. He could play left or right, which means they could move their incumbent (and struggling) left tackle Ereck Flowers. They could even move Flowers inside if they decide to add a free agent (like, perhaps, Andrew Whitworth), too. Scouts in general are not high on this class of offensive linemen, so the Giants could have their pick of several at their spot in the first round. (Last week: 2)
2.) OT Garett Bolles, Utah - There are mixed early reviews on this 6-5, 300-pounder. Some think he's a sure-fire first-rounder because he's the most athletic tackle in the draft. Others worry that he played only one year at Utah and think he might be better suited to the right side (which in the draft world diminishes his value). A lot about his worth and whether he'll be there for the Giants will depend on his performance at the combine and his Pro Day. (Last week: 3)
3.) TE O.J. Howard, Alabama - If this stud athlete is available, it's hard to believe the Giants wouldn't jump at him. Even though they've re-signed Will Tye (and Matt LaCosse) they are desperate for a true, big-time player at this position -- someone who can be a big target for Eli Manning, a weapon in the passing game, and at least a passable blocker. This 6-6, 249-pounder fits all those descriptions. But he's already projected to be a Top-20 pick and he could skyrocket with a strong combine. The Giants might have to move up to get him (Last week: 1).
4.) TE David Njoku, Miami - This 6-4, 245-pounder is much more likely to be available for the Giants, though his stock could also jump with a strong combine performance. His athleticism is off the charts, which is the norm for Miami tight ends. He was also a big red-zone threat for the Hurricanes, which is something the Giants obviously need. He's got the speed and burst the Giants want. He did have some drop issues, though, and may need to get a little bigger and stronger to be a good-enough blocker in the NFL. (Last week: N/A).
5.) DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee - A defensive end has to be a strong consideration until we know the resolution to Jason Pierre-Paul's situation. If he's signed long-term this won't be a position of need (though of course the Giants know they can never have enough pass rushers). If he's not, this becomes a desperate need. Barnett (6-3, 265) was a sack machine in college and a powerful and strong tackler. He doesn't have elite speed off the line, but that hasn't mattered much. He had 32 sacks in three seasons in the SEC. That speaks for itself. (Last week: N/A).
Dropped from the board: Michigan DE Taco Charlton (4 last week), and Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey (5).