The Giants made one big move to bolster their offensive line since the season ended last December, signing top Canadian Football League lineman Brett Jones amidst competition from from several other teams, including the Eagles and Ravens, for his services. Jones is far from a sure thing, having never played the American version of the sport, and will have to re-learn his blocking angles to account for the 2 foot difference in where defenders line up in the United States compared to North of the border.
Other moves include signing Marshall Newhouse, a free agent tackle allowed to leave the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals in consecutive seasons, and re-signing John Jerry, who was a horrific run blocker in 16 starts in 2014. If either of these players have to start a game this coming season, it will result in a mediocre line at best, and hinder the development of the power running game that Tom Coughlin covets. It’s this style of running, combined with the quick passing offense implemented by Ben McAdoo last season, that will fuel another Giants Super Bowl journey. That journey starts on April 30th, when Jerry Reese makes pick 9 in the 2015 NFL draft.
There are four bona fide NFL starters on the Giants roster. Left tackle Will Beatty, Center Weston Richburg, Guard Geoff Schwartz, who was slated to play left guard in 2014, but who’s best position is right guard, and Justin Pugh, the incumbent right tackle, who many believe is best suited to play guard. If Jones assimilates, he may become the fifth, or that player may not be on the roster for another two weeks.
Two potential first round linemen fit the Giants draft profile, top lineman Brandon Scherff from Iowa, and La’el Collins, from preferred Giants player source LSU. It would not be surprising to see either picked by Reese in the first round. Both were team captain, and are high character players capable of starting immediately.
There are offensive linemen available in rounds 2 through 7 who also fit the Giants drafting profile. Today’s Draft Six Pack looks a them, examines their strengths and weaknesses, and projects where the Giants would consider drafting them if they remain on the board. Several are left guards, which would allow the team to deploy Schwartz at right guard and put the strongest iteration of the offensive line on the field in September.
On to the players…