Ereck Flowers Vs. Justin Pugh: Giants Left Tackle Battle


Yesterday we learned that Will Beatty has injured his pectoral muscle and he will be out 5-6 months. This means if everything goes well he will return to the Giants in late October, possibly late November. This means that Ereck Flowers or Justin Pugh have to earn the starting job at left tackle until then.

Nov 2, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Duke Johnson (8) runs the ball while lead by offensive lineman Ereck Flowers (74) past Florida State Seminoles linebacker Telvin Smith (22) during the first half at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The left tackle position is of the upmost importance because the left tackle protects the right handed, Eli Manning’s blind side. The offensive line works as a unit and is only as strong as its weakest link; if the left tackle position is the Giants weakest link, they’re in trouble.

Flowers was drafted to be the left tackle of this franchise for years to come, but nobody expected him to takeover for Beatty this quickly. Flowers will be given every opportunity to win the job, he was originally slated to be the right tackle in 2015.

Flowers main competition will be Pugh. Pugh was the Giants first round selection in 2013. Pugh can play both offensive tackle positions but so far he has done best as a guard. Before the Beatty injury he was expected to be the right guard.

The offensive line was supposed to be the new found strength of the Giants team. In the most optimal line up, Pugh and Flowers would be a powerful run blocking duo on the right side. Now it looks like John Jerry will have to fill in at guard. If Pugh loses out on the coveted left tackle position, he will very likely be the right tackle.

It seems that starting Pugh at left tackle gives the Giants the best chance to win. Pugh, who found his stride in his second season, is the more experienced player. Flowers is a dominant athlete but he is a rookie whose pass protecting skills are a bit raw.

Sep 22, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Wes Horton (96) gets blocks by New York Giants offensive tackle Justin Pugh (72) during the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Giants 38-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Pugh will give the Giants some stability on the left side. Geoff Schwartz and John Jerry will play the guard positions. I think Weston Richburg will edge out Brett Jones at the center position and Ereck Flowers of course will be the right tackle. With the Beatty injury, this is the best looking order of the offensive line.

It is worth noting that the Giants also have the services of Marshall Newhouse. Newhouse has starting experience from his days with the Green Bay Packers. He was with the Cincinnati Bengals last season. Newhouse may not be the greatest option in the world, but he can do the job either as a guard or a tackle.

Flowers time to shine as the left tackle will come. If he performs the best when training camp and the preseason hits, he will get the starting left tackle position. For now though, I see Pugh’s experience saving the day for the Giants on Manning’s blind side.

Next: New York Giants: Could The Secondary Rock in 2015?

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