There is no question that the New York Giants are in need of help at linebacker as they enter the 2013 NFL Draft. While the team hasn’t used a first round pick on a linebacker since 1984 when the team selected Carl Banks there is an unpredictability to GM Jerry Reese’s methods. Reese has used second round picks on linebackers in the past, most notably on Clint Sintim in the 2009 Draft. While the Giants might not use their first pick on a linebacker they could very well use their second or third rounder on one and one that stands out is Kevin Reddick from North Carolina.
Reddick, an inside linebacker, is one of the best run defenders in this draft. He has good size at 6-1, 246 pounds and excellent speed to range from sideline to sideline to get to the ball carrier. Reddick is one of those players that plays with a good motor and will continue to play until he hears a whistle. More importantly, he is a four-down linebacker who has great instincts.
Reddick will sometimes have a tough time shedding blocks right away because his arms aren’t as long as the ideal linebackers. However, his motor often makes up for that as he will fight his way free and isn’t afraid to get physical with bigger players. He might not be the ideal coverage linebacker as he has trouble rotating his hips and changing direction but the Giants might not need him to do much in coverage with the Giants. While he could stay on the field for all four downs if needed he would be best as a two-down linebacker at least in the early part of his career while he learns the defense and how to cover the quicker tight ends and running backs at the next level.
Reddick would be a perfect addition to a Giants linebacker corps that had trouble stopping the run last year. Reddick did have a slow start to the 2012 season as he adjusted to a new scheme but it didn’t take him long before he was back to being a productive member of the defense and team leader. Last season, Reddick recorded 85 tackles, 18.5 for a loss and showed an ability to get to the quarterback with 6.5 sacks.
Adding Reddick to the linebacking corps would be the perfect addition for the Giants. He wouldn’t be asked to step in and be an instant starter but could contribute right away as defensive coordinator Perry Fewell likes to rotate his players in and out depending on the situation.
Reddick could be available when the Giants pick in the second round and if he is he would be the perfect addition as the Giants try to improve their run defense which ranked 25th in the NFL last season allowing 129.1 yards per game on the ground.