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If the Giants are to contend for a playoff spot in 2014, they must improve a roster that features some building blocks but plenty of holes.
With the offseason a little more than a week away, here’s an assessment of the Giants’ top 10 positions to prioritize in the 2014 NFL Draft.
1. Defensive end: The Giants have continually invested in their defensive line with great success, and they should stay with that blueprint. Justin Tuck will be an unrestricted free agent, and Jason Pierre-Paul’s contract is up after the 2014 season.
2. Cornerback: The Giants could use a little more youth at the position. Corey Webster enters the final year of his contract and was limited to four games this season because of injury. Also, Prince Amukamara's deal is up after 2014.
3. Offensive tackle: The Giants’ offensive line is a major concern, and the club could stand to add at every position. Tackle is the most valuable line position. If the Giants were to draft a tackle, they could always move rookie Justin Pugh to guard.
4. Running back: Andre Brown can test free agency. David Wilson struggled in his second season, then landed on injured reserve with a neck injury. The Giants didn’t have enough options on the ground until Brown returned from a broken leg in November. By then, it was too late.
5. Defensive tackle: Age is a real concern at this position. Also, Linval Joseph, who’s started 44 games in three seasons, will be a free agent. Joseph, who will be 26 next season, fits the profile a player who could draw interest from other clubs — he’s experienced, but he’s still young enough to be counted upon for several more seasons.
6. Offensive guard: Left guard Kevin Boothe will be a free agent, and right guard Chris Snee is slated to make close to $7 million in 2014. The Giants haven't selected a guard in round one since taking Luke Petitgout in 1999.
7. Wide receiver: If Hakeem Nicks departs in free agency, this position could move up the list. Even if Nicks returns, adding another wideout at some point would make sense. Teams like Denver and Green Bay are proof that clubs need all of the skilled pass catchers they can get.
8. Center: Starter David Baas missed most of the season with neck and knee injuries. Baas will be 33 next September, and he’s slated to make $4.75 million next season.
9. Linebacker: The Giants typically do not prioritize this position. The in-season addition of Jon Beason worked out very well for Big Blue and reduced some of the need at linebacker.
10. Tight end: Brandon Myers, the top receiving threat at the position, will be an unrestricted free agent. With so many other needs, though, it’s hard to see tight end being a real draft priority.