Football games are won and lost in the trenches, and for the New York Giants, the offensive line has been a weak point for this team. Last season, the Giants ranked near the bottom in rushing yards(ranked 19th) and sacks allowed(ranked 20th).
Over the years, New York has tried to fix its offensive line, including drafting LT Ereck Flowers with the ninth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, but unfortunately, Flowers struggled and, ultimately, did not work out for the Giants. In 2018, New York signed LT Nate Solder to replace Flowers, and just like Flowers, Solder has been a disappointment.
Now, with the draft coming up(April 23-25), the Giants, who have the fourth overall pick, could work from the inside out and go after an offensive lineman. According to Giants GM Dave Gettleman, New York needs to continue to build their offensive line.
“Well, again, you know my theory. It’s very, very difficult for Saquon(Barkley) to run the ball if he doesn’t have holes. It’s going to be difficult for Daniel to throw the ball when he’s on his back,” Gettleman said on a conference call on Friday. “We’ll continue to build the offensive line. Is it a pressure point? To a degree. I’m not going to deny that. But it’s about getting the right guy. It’s about not panicking. Like I said before, we think Nick Gates has a bright future as an offensive lineman. Spencer Pulley has done good work for us at center. (Jon) Halapio is coming back, hopefully, he’ll be ready to go and recovered from the Achilles by June. We’re just going to keep working at it. Joe and I are of the same mentality that really and truly, the offensive line sets the tone for the team. It really does.
“I think of all the teams that I’ve been with that have gone to Super Bowls, the offensive lines were the tone-setters. You think of the offensive lines in 2007 and 2011 when we beat the Patriots, those groups set the tone. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we replicate that.”
At this point, a few of the mock drafts have New York taking Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons with the fourth overall pick. However, Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com, has the Giants selecting OT Jedrick Wills out of Alabama, and NFL.COM’s Chad Reuter, has New York taking OT Tristian Wirf out of Iowa.
Obviously, in order to get the most out of Jones and Barkley, New York has to strengthen its offensive line, so it should be interesting to see how Gettleman and the Giants handle this year’s draft. Do they go after a playmaker on defense, or do they try to fortify the offensive line? We’ll find out in less than a week.