As the New York Giants work through the second portion of OTAs, offensive lineman Will Hernandez has begun his professional development. The UTEP standout struggled to find any sort of success with his team in 2017, as they finished the year 0-12 – but Hernandez stood tall and continued to dominate despite the woes of his team.
Now, the offensive guard has joined the Giants’ ranks, filling a major gap on the offensive line and finally providing Eli Manning with time to work through his progressions.
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Like all rookies, Hernandez will have his hiccups, especially with a strong NFC East that consistently maintains some of the league’s most feared defensive lineman. He will be forced to hold his ground against the likes of Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Jonathan Allen, and now Da’Ron Payne. Standing up to these behemoth lineman will be no east feat, but it will teach Hernandez his weaknesses and help him refine his skill-set.
Hernandez enters the league on the smaller side (6-foot-2, 327 pounds). His tenacity and mean streak has made up for his lack of height in the past. As an example, let’s look at Pittsburgh Steelers guard, David DeCastro.
DeCastro is 6-foot-5, 316 pounds, which is actually lighter than the Giants’ rookie. The lack of height will be Hernandez’s primary weakness, but he can compensate with a low center of gravity and immense strength.
One of the benefits that Hernandez has during this ever-lasting offseason is his competition. Hernandez will face off against Damon Harrison, one of the best DT’s in the NFL, and Dalvin Tomlinson, a budding star. They will expose his flaws and help build them into strengths. But don’t get it twisted, Hernandez will also assist in developing the skills of his defensive counter-parts.
The bottom line, the Giants have added a stellar piece to their offensive line that will immediately compete for the starting left guard spot. He brings an anger that the line has been lacking in recent years and will leave it all on the field, even if his team is being blown out. He’s the perfect match for Gettleman’s culture change and will influence a successful future for Big Blue.