A lack of homegrown talent is one of the first problems general manager Dave Gettleman identifies when he looks at how far the Giants defense has fallen since the last Super Bowl win.

Spending $80 million in free agency over the life of four contracts, as the Giants did last month, will plug some holes, but it won’t reach the root. Only spending premium NFL Draft picks will get the next wave of Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre-Paul and Corey Webster for development.

“It’s really important to have homegrown,” Gettleman said at the NFL Combine. “We had done a lot of work on those guys. All the film that I’ve watched … it gives you an indicator of who he is: How is he competing when the team is losing?”

Keep those words in mind when picks No. 4 and No. 36 are on the clock, beginning with Thursday’s first round.

Since winning Super Bowl 46 in February 2012, the Giants have used seven of their 10 first-rounders and four of their seven second-rounders on offense. Of the six defensive players selected, only Dalvin Tomlinson and two of last year’s three first-rounders, Dexter Lawrence and DeAndre Baker, remain. None of the other three re-signed.
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