Giants, Jets Get Defensive in the First Round

No drama for either New York team

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Big Blue is now royal blue.

    There were some fireworks at the top of the draft and some surprising moves all over the board, but none of them included the Giants or Jets.

    The Giants stood pat at number 19 and were major beneficiaries of an early run on quarterbacks. Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara was in plenty of top 10s during the mock draft season, but he dropped and dropped as teams scrambled to take others with early picks.

    While cornerback wasn't the team's biggest need, it is hard to argue with taking a player of Amukamara's talent. It's also hard to pass up giving tabloid headline writers the chance to use the name Prince on their back pages on the same day as a huge royal wedding.

    Not that the Giants were really thinking in that direction. He allowed only 18 completions to opposing receivers all season, which might not make him Revis Island but he's certainly got the potential to be an archipelago of grief to quarterbacks in the NFC East.

    When day two kicks off on Friday, the Giants should be in the market for the offensive lineman that they passed on when Amukamara fell into their laps. They might not get someone who is capable of stepping right into the starting lineup, but the net gain of adding a strong corner should make up for that if Amukamara is as good as advertised.

    Or if he can just tackle DeSean Jackson once.

    By the time the Jets made their pick at the end of the first round, the only question was whether they'd deal down to a team looking to move up for a particular player. There either weren't any options or the Jets simply fell in love with Temple defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson.

    They made Wilkerson the 30th pick of the first round, filling a need for some youth on the front seven of their defense. He drew comparisons to Trevor Pryce during the run-up to the draft and Pryce played well for Rex Ryan in Baltimore before spending last year in a reserve role with the Jets.

    He can play inside or outside so the flexibility is nice, but the Jets didn't necessarily get a guy who is going to make his bones as a pass rusher. That's a huge defensive need and it will now have to get filled through other avenues.

    The good news is that there's a pretty good chance the NFL will be announcing another cap-free year when they give teams their marching orders later on Friday. That bodes well for the free-spending Jets and for their ability to use the rest of the draft to attack needs with the knowledge that they can get other help on the open market.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.