The NFL offseason will kick into high gear next week with the annual NFL Scouting Combine, when the entire league converges upon Indianapolis.E84: Would Adrian Peterson be a fit with Giants?
The combine is about evaluating prospects for April's NFL Draft, but it is also the unofficial start of free agency, as teams and agents meet to get rough estimates about the market ahead of the start of the legal tampering period on March 7, and the start of free agency on March 9.
Over the next few days, the Giants' offseason outlook for each position group will be examined. Here's the rundown on the cornerbacks:
GIANTS DEFENSIVE TACKLES OFFSEASON OUTLOOK:
Giants under contract: Jay Bromley (through 2017); Damon Harrison (2020); Robert Thomas (2017).
Giants free agents: Johnathan Hankins.
Position priority: High. The Giants have an open starting spot inside with Hankins hitting the market. If they do not re-sign him - which will be tough to do after Jason Pierre-Paul's franchise tag - they will need to find a replacement. Whether that player is already on the roster, or is found via free agency or the draft, is unclear at this point.
Top free agents: Alan Branch (Patriots); Nick Fairley (Saints); Bennie Logan (Eagles); Dontari Poe (Chiefs)*; Brandon Williams (Ravens); Hankins.
* -- franchise tag candidate
Mayock: This is strong TE draft class
Second-tier free agents: Jonathan Babineaux (Falcons); Akeem Spence (Buccaneers); Courtney Upshaw (Falcons).
What to expect in the offseason: If the Giants do not re-sign Hankins, they need to find a starter to pair with Snacks. They don't necessarily have to land a big name, though. It's possible Bromley or Thomas could be allowed to push for the job in camp.
Draft strategy: The Giants will likely look to take at least one interior defensive lineman, preferably one who can move the pocket and rush the passer. Depending on how the draft plays out, it wouldn't be surprising if the Giants went with a defensive tackle in the first round.
James Kratch may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch. Find our Giants coverage on Facebook.
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