New York Giants: Top 30 OL draft prospects for Big Blue
By Henry Buggy
There were 33 offensive linemen selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, but Big Blue waited until the sixth-round before selecting offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty.
The New York Giants didn’t even activate their only offensive line draft selection until Dave Gettleman took over as general manager in the final week of the regular season.
The Giants new general manager hasn’t mixed words when it comes to New York’s offensive line. He waived starting right tackle Bobby Hart ahead of the team’s regular season finale and has said he plans to address the “hog mollies” up front.
It’s no secret New York’s offensive woes stem from poor offensive line play. The Giants have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2012 and have not posted a top 10 rushing attack since 2010.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning was consistently under pressure this season, and when New York’s offensive line did give their 14-year veteran time in the pocket, a yellow flag was usually not far behind.
Free Agency Will Determine Draft Strategy
Gettleman has said he plans to let free agency set up New York’s draft strategy. But with little cap space this offseason and decisions to make with both Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg, New York will undoubtedly have to address their o-line in the draft.
Even if Big Blue somehow lands one of the top free agent offensive linemen or retains Pugh, they still need to start building a strong foundation through the draft.
Free agency will determine New York’s top needs along the offensive line, but it’s not far-fetched to think Big Blue could add a tackle, guard, and center in this year’s draft. Offensive tackle remains New York’s biggest weakness on either side of the ball.
Gettleman not only has decisions to make with both Pugh and Richburg in free agency, but also has to decide whether to pick up Ereck Flowers’ fifth-year option on his rookie contract. Giants right guard John Jerry also has an opt-out clause in his three-year deal this offseason, according to Spotrac.
While free agency will determine New York’s draft strategy, Big Blue’s scouting department is surely doing their due diligence on this year’s crop of offensive linemen. This year’s class may not be stacked with future NFL starting offensive linemen. But it’s deeper and has more talent at the top than a year ago.
Here’s a closer look at the top 30 offensive linemen in this year’s draft class based on talent, ability to start, and upside potential.