Giants UDFA OT lands head-turning guaranteed money from Joe Schoen

The Giants have improved their offensive line ahead of 2024
President of the New York Giants, John Mara (left) and New York Giants General Manager, Joe Schoen,
President of the New York Giants, John Mara (left) and New York Giants General Manager, Joe Schoen, / Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

After a disappointing 2023, the NY Giants have prioritized improving their offensive line this offseason ahead of the 2024 campaign. The G-Men hired Raiders offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo to their coaching staff and added veterans Jon Runyan Jr. and Jermaine Eluemunor in free agency. While the Giants did not draft any linemen in this year's draft, the team has been active in signing a few undrafted free-agent prospects.

The Giants signed two UDFA linemen this year after the draft. The team signed Missouri tackle Marcellus Johnson, whose rookie contract with the Giants includes $170,000 in guaranteed money. Big Blue also signed North Dakota State tackle Jake Kubas, who earned $270,000 in guaranteed money, which indicates the Giants see him as someone who will at least make the practice squad and maybe even the 53-man roster at some point next season.

Kubas' rookie contract is the richest guarantee of all the Giants' undrafted free agents. Typically, players on the practice squad make around $225,000 for the entire season. So, with the Giants offering the 6-3, 308-pound lineman $240,000 in salary plus a $30,000 signing bonus, Joe Schoen and the organization see potential in Kubas. 

Kubas was a three-year starter at North Dakota State. He worked his way up from walk-on to being named First-Team Stats Perform FCS All-America last season as a senior. He has solid athleticism and plays with urgency. Kubas is also a flexible lineman who works well in space. Coach Bricillo and head coach Brian Daboll must be thrilled about the addition of Kubas, as he was considered one of the most sought-after undrafted free agents on the market.

What will the Giants offensive line look like in 2024?

The Giants will bring back tackles Andrew Thomas, Evan Neal, and center John Michael Schmitz Jr. from last year's team as the headliners. The team expects all three to start Week 1, but they all suffered injuries throughout 2023, so that will be something to watch as training camp goes on. We can expect a healthy Thomas and Schmitz to significantly impact the team's offensive line, but Neal will be the player to watch next year.

The former first-round pick has struggled on and off the field since his arrival in New York in 2022. Many believed 2023 would be Neal's breakout year in the NFL, but it was the opposite. The offensive tackle has dealt with several injuries throughout his professional career and faced backlash for comments he made after the Giants' Week 4 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, where Daniel Jones was sacked 11 times. After the fanbase was upset with his comments, Neal posted an apology statement on social media the next day. Will 2024 finally be the year the former No. 7 pick breaks out?

With the additions of Runyan and Eluemunor, fans expect the G-Men to gain a significant boost at guard. Both provide veteran leadership, which the Giants' offensive line has lacked for quite some time. The Giants also signed veteran Aaron Stinnie, who has previously played for the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stinnie won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in 2020. With depth being added in all areas and likely more moves to come on the offensive line, we can expect improvements in 2024.