New York Giants: Top 10 needs after FA signings, trades
By Henry Buggy
#1 – Interior Offensive Line
This should come as no surprise. After losing out on Andrew Norwell in free agency, the Giants have done little to fix their interior offensive line.
The addition of Solder undoubtedly will improve the entire unit, but questions still remain at center and both guard positions. The Giants reportedly placed a second-round tender on center Brett Jones. The team has yet to announce the move, but the former CFL All-Star has already signed the one-year contract, according to Spotrac.
Jones proved himself a viable starting option in 2017, starting a career-high 13 games. He excelled in pass protection but struggled as a run blocker. The Giants likely believe he can hold down the starting center role this upcoming season. They would be foolish not to bring in competition or at least a backup.
Jones is the only center listed on Big Blue’s roster. They also have six guards under contract, but John Jerry and Omameh are projected to be the starters.
That gives New York three average starters along their interior offensive line. Jones and Jerry are also scheduled to test free agency in 2019, making it even more pressing to add youth and talent up front.
The good thing for Big Blue is this year’s draft class is loaded with interior offensive line talent. It actually might work out better that New York landed Solder instead of Norwell. It will be harder to fill a left tackle spot in this draft than any other position along the offensive line.
Billy Price, James Daniels, and Frank Ragnow top this year’s class of centers. All three have the potential to be successful starters in their rookie years. Price did suffer a pectoral injury at the NFL Scouting Combine but expects to be ready for training camp.
If the Giants decide to wait on the center position, Mason Cole, Will Clapp, and Scott Quessenberry are some mid-round options that could challenge Jones for the starting role.
Whether the Giants will address the center position is unclear. But they must add at least one guard to their roster in the draft.
Quenton Nelson is considered the top overall offensive line prospect in this year’s class. Nelson and Barkley are the two safest picks for Big Blue at No. 2 overall. Their positions could force Gettleman to pass. Running backs and guards are usually not worthy of a top two pick, but Nelson is undoubtedly in play for the Giants.
NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks has the G-Men taking the Notre Dame prospect in his most recent mock draft. If the Giants elect not to take Nelson at No. 2, they will still have several starting options from the second-round on.
Will Hernandez and Isaiah Wynn would likely be considered steals with the 34th overall pick, but it’s definitely possible one of them could still be on the board entering day two.
Braden Smith, Austin Corbett, Wyatt Teller, Tony Adams, Skyler Phillips, and Sam Jones are some mid-round prospects that have the potential to steal a starting role from Jerry or Omameh by Week 1.
Of course, putting Nelson next to Solder would be the ideal scenario. The Giants have to decide how much they value the guard position, especially when they can select a future franchise quarterback.
Next: Should Big Blue Trade OBJ?
It will be interesting to watch how Gettleman approaches his first draft as Big Blue’s general manager. His plan was to let free agency set up the team’s draft strategy.
The Giants clearly still have multiple holes after their signings and trades. That’s also to be expected after a 3-13 season.