The NY Giants have a major hole that is still yet to be filled along the offensive line at the center position; they just might give one of their own a shot to prove he can play there.
One of the few positive developments along the offensive line for the NY Giants last season was the emergence and development of former undrafted lineman Nick Gates. While I had been calling for him to play almost from the beginning of the season, injuries finally allowed him to play right tackle against the Jets and he showed out.
Foolishly enough, he went back to the bench once journeyman tackle Mike Remmers returned. So, he didn’t get the full half-a-season of playing time he deserved, but he did enough in his few spot starts to prove he should be in the equation moving forward.
One of the major reasons the former Nebraska Cornhusker went undrafted in the first place was due to many thinking he was a ‘tweener’ without a real position. In practice, however, Gates has shown that that is only an advantage as he’s gotten work at guard and tackle.
Fast forward to 2020, and the NY Giants are reportedly considering attempting to slide him all the way over to center, a position he’s never played but they feel he might have a shot to stick at. Honestly, after watching Jon Halapio struggled to play the position last year this doesn’t sound all that crazy.
GM Dave Gettleman mentioned on his recent call with reporters that the idea is in fact true and that the team will attempt to have Gates try out the position this offseason.
Technically, Gates has shown a terrific ability to stay locked right in front of his defender and get to the second level of the run game, two terrific traits to have as a center. The big question is, will he be able to effectively snap the football after playing tackle for his entire life?
Our buddy @bobbyskinner_ on Twitter did god’s work when he got a legitimate response from Gates on the matter.
One major problem with this whole scenario is that NFL teams will almost certainly have massively condensed offseasons, limiting Gates’ ability to work hands-on with new offensive line coach Marc Colombo on the matter.
Still, it remains an intriguing option to have a potential player in-house that can solve the team’s center woes.
We’ll keep you posted on any more developments on the matter throughout the offseason.