Friday, April 29, 2011

Peyton Manning Gets Over Little Bro Eli Once Again

The New York Giants must have gotten caught up in all of the Royal Wedding mania when they used the 19th pick for a Prince instead of a big body to protect their quarterback, Eli Manning, in last night's NFL draft.  Anthony Castonzo, a big offensive-tackle from Boston College, was still available but was taken by the Indianapolis Colts three slots later.

Colts GM, Bill Polian, did Peyton Manning a big solid and added a few years to his quarterbacking life by adding Castonzo to their depleted O-line.  The Giants gave Peyton's little brother Eli another season of being knocked on his butt.

With their first pick, the G-Men opted for the best athlete still on the board, cornerback Prince Amukamara from Nebraska, and literally left a gaping hole in their offensive line after claiming all week leading up to the draft that patching up their aging and hobbled line would be the Giants main concern.

The Giants wanted Center/Guard Mike Pouncey from Florida.  The twin brother of Maurkice, a Pro-Bowl center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was taken by the Miami Dolphins with the 15th pick.  Castonzo was the Giants consensus second choice because the team needs help at the tackle position too.

Amukamara is a fine athlete and experts were surprised to see the 6-foot, 206-pounder slip to No. 19, but the Giants already have two solid cornerbacks in Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster with former-first-round pick Aaron Ross as the backup. The most glaring problem last season, outside of the linebackers, was the thin and aging offensive line.

So the Giants scrapped their plans to bolster Eli's protection and grabbed the CB--mostly because of quality and not necessity.  Head coach Tom Coughlin didn't hesitate about the pick-up and said Amukamara "was clearly the highest rated player on the board."

Meanwhile, all three Giants centers--Shaun O'Hara, Rich Seubert and Adam Koets,  are recovering from surgery.  Two starting tackles, David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie, are in their 30's and have a lot of miles on their bodies. 

So while Peyton gets a huge tackle, who will help him on his quest to own every all-time quarterback record in the books for the next few years, little brother Eli looks forward to another season of being chased around the backfield fumbling balls and tossing interceptions.

The Giants GM Jerry Reese said, "You always need corners" citing the NFC East competition's collection of speedy wide-outs.  Eli might be wondering, 'What about protection?'

Eli may now be joined by a Prince, but Peyton is still the King.

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