After an impressive 2022 season, there are a lot of expectations for the New York Giants to carry their success into 2023. A major reason Big Blue will be a team to watch this fall and winter is to see the improvements made by offensive lineman Evan Neal.
The Giants selected Neal with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The G-Men selected lineman Andrew Thomas two years prior with the fourth pick in the 2020 Draft. Giants fans expected the offensive line to improve with Neal and Thomas manning both tackle positions; however, that wasn't the case.
Neal struggled tremendously in his rookie campaign. Last season, he started 13 games and played 738 snaps at right tackle, but suffered a knee injury in Week 8, which ruled the rookie out of the next four contests.
According to Pro Football Focus, Neal allowed seven sacks, which was tied for the seventh most in the league. With a year of experience under his belt, off-season training, and his potential, Giants fans should not rule out Neal as an important factor in 2023.
Why will Evan Neal be a stud for the Giants next season?
Let's start with Neal's body transformation. The 2022 first-round selection looks fantastic! His most recent Instagram post captures the work that he has put in this offseason. Not only was he showered with support from the Giants fans but also teammate Kayvon Thibodeaux, who left a heartwarming comment on the post. The support on and off the field could be the spark.
Next, the second-year lineman will feel more comfortable on the right side after a year of experience with Big Blue. With growing pains out of the way, Neal will develop, and the results will begin to translate on the field with the help of offensive line coach Bobby Johnson.
Lastly, Neal will be surrounded by improving players and younger talent, providing the support Daniel Jones needs. In fact, Neal won't be the only lineman to take needed steps in 2023. Look out for Thomas to have another All-Pro caliber year, and don't forget about 2023 second-round pick John Michael Schmitz, who starred at center the last two seasons for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He'll be a force for Big Blue as well.