Cesar Ruiz-C, Michigan
Why would he be a good value for the Giants in the 2nd round? Ruiz is considered by many to be the best interior offensive lineman in the 2020 NFL draft. He has experience playing guard, but his play at center should intrigue the Giants. Ruiz could be a major upgrade over Spencer Pulley.
The NFC east is chock full of powerful interior lineman that can push the pocket and make life difficult for the run game. The Cowboys beefed up their defensive line this offseason with the additions of Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, while the Eagles added the dangerous Javon Hargrave to team up with the Giants-killer Fletcher Cox. The NY Giants need to shore up the middle of their offensive line if they plan on getting the running game going in 2020.
What does he excel at? Ruiz has a powerful build to go along with elite athleticism for his size. He is able to hold his own versus large nose tackles and deliver devastating double team blocks in the run game. Ruiz is naturally thick, especially in the lower half, which allows him to hold his ground and have excellent anchor ability against defensive tackles.
The Michigan Wolverine’s strength and technique gives quarterbacks the opportunity to step up confidently in the pocket. Ruiz was a three year starter at multiple positions along the interior of the offensive line at Michigan. His experience and football IQ means that he’s rarely caught off guard by stunts and blitzes, a major issue for the Giants in 2019.
Why the Giants might hesitate: Ruiz is built compactly to take on nose tackles, but he lacks ideal length. This could cause some struggles against longer pass rushers.
Personal excitement level if drafted: (8/10) It could be argued that center is a more glaring need than offensive tackle for the Giants. Ruiz is the best center in this draft and would be a major upgrade over Jon Halapio and Pulley. He would help Daniel Jones in pass protection, and create a push for Saquon Barkley in the run game.