The New York Giants top priority this offseason was improving the offensive line. The Giants understand that football games are won up front and that a bad offensive line could end up wasting their boat loads of offensive talent. The offensive line may have been the priority but there are still major reservations about how it will fair in 2015.
When Will Beatty got injured, sidelining him for 5-6 months, the Giants were put in a bit of a pickle. The sensible solution became starting Ereck Flowers at the left tackle position. Flowers was the Giants first round draft pick and there are heavy expectations on him right away.
The team had considered moving Justin Pugh to be an offensive guard. Pugh has struggled as a tackle, putting him on the left side is less than appealing. While he will probably play right tackle, he really does have attributes more characteristic of an offensive guard. He is a stocky lineman who struggles with speed off the edge but has good power.
Pugh will most likely be the right tackle. The team is hoping that he can step up to the plate and become the player they thought he could be when they made him 2013’s first round draft pick. We have seen flashes but need to see a stronger overall performance.
The guards will be Geoff Schwartz and most likely John Jerry. Schwartz is a good run blocker that should help the Giants offensive line majorly. Jerry is an average player who has had an average career. The battle for the center position is likely a battle between Weston Richburg and Brett Jones.
So the offensive line looks pretty worrisome. The Giants are depending on a raw rookie, an underwhelming 2013 first round pick, two unproven centers, an average guard and a very talented but injury prone guard in Schwartz. Will this hold the team back?
The Giants need to be able to run the football to have some balance. Manning cannot throw the ball on every play, even with the weapons he has. If the Giants don’t get some power from the five offensive linemen, the Giants will have their struggles. Only time will tell.
The Giants are betting that Flowers and Pugh step up to stabilize the offensive line. They are also betting that they have too much offensive talent to fail. We better hope the Giants are right, because they have built this offensive line on these pretty big gambles.