Daniel Jeremiah mock draft has Giants taking stud tackle with 5th overall pick

ikem ekwonu, giants

The New York Giants have little choice but to invest heavily in the offensive line this off-season, especially after the disaster Dave Gettleman left behind. Upgrades are needed at right tackle, right guard, center, and left guard. Andrew Thomas at left tackle is the only player cemented into his position, so expect GM Joe Schoen to piece together a strategy to help solidify the unit moving forward.

However, it will take time for new players to gel and develop, especially if drafted. With the 5th overall pick, Big Blue would be smart to invest in the top tackle available, given the separation between the top-4 OL prospects and the rest of the class.

Daniel Jeremiah of ESPN believes the Giants will elect to go with NC State OT Ikem Ekwonu:

Year: Sophomore (RS)

This would be a home-run pick for a team in need of upgrades along the offensive line. Andrew Thomas has emerged as a legit starter, but the Giants need more help for Daniel Jones. Ekwonu is strong, powerful and nasty.

The Draft Network is extremely high on Ekwonu, stating:

The toughness and physicality of his NFL team will immediately be improved with his addition. Ekwonu took a notable step forward in 2021 but he does have room to grow when it comes to weight distribution, taking away inside pass rush moves, and occasionally being too aggressive, which leads to blocks not being sustained long enough. Ekwonu hails from a family of athletes.

By drafting Ekwonu, the Giants would immediately inject a top pass-blocking into the right tackle a spot, a position housed by Nate Solder last season. The Giants will actually be paying Solder $4 million just to be a free agent next season after opting out of the 2021 season and restructuring his deal. The Giants have minimal cap space to improve the trenches, so the draft represents the team’s best opportunities to piece together a young line without spending ample salary space.

Jeremiah has Evan Neal out of Alabama going No. 1 overall to the Jaguars, leaving a few great position players on the board for Schoen to consider. However, preparing for the injection of a new quarterback in 2023 comes with solving the offensive line this off-season, so Ekwonu is the clear-cut move.

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