Giants: 3 right guards to target in free agency who could fix the offensive line

Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Robert Hunt (New York Giants)
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants will aim to finally fix their offensive line problems this offseason after surrendering a league-high 85 sacks in 2023. The interior of the Giants’ offensive line is particularly weak with new starters needed at both left and right guard. Thankfully, there are some solid options at right guard that will be available on the open market this offseason to hopefully fix the Giants’ offensive line once and for all.

Spending big money on the market’s best right guard

The top right guard projected to hit the open market this offseason is Robert Hunt of the Miami Dolphins. There is some doubt that the Dolphins will be able to re-sign Hunt after already extending right tackle Austin Jackson to a lucrative contract. Hunt could consequently hit the open market as one of the top players in the entire free agency class.

If the Giants want to make a splash this offseason, targeting Hunt would be a great way to achieve that goal. Hunt should be the Giants’ top priority in free agency if he does indeed become an unrestricted free agent. The 27-year-old guard finished the 2023 season as Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 ranked offensive guard with a 77.1 overall grade. He surrendered only one sack and five total pressures this season, proving to be one of the league’s elite pass protectors.

Hunt began his career as an offensive tackle but moved to the interior to maximize his talents. Still, his tackle flexibility only boosts his value for a Giants team that needs help across the offensive line. Adding Hunt won’t be easy, however, as he should command money at the top of the market.

PFF projects a four-year, $70 million ($17.5 million per year), $42 million total guaranteed contract for Hunt this offseason. This deal would make Hunt the third-highest-paid right guard in the NFL (Over The Cap).

Reuniting with a stellar veteran pass protector

The Giants could attempt to reunite with a familiar face this offseason. Veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler will be a free agent after spending the past three seasons of his career with the Baltimore Ravens. Zeitler was a member of the Giants from 2019 to 2020 after being acquired via trade from the Cleveland Browns.

During his stretch with Big Blue, Zeitler was easily the team’s best offensive lineman. He has gone on to continue his success as a reliable pass protector for the Ravens. During his three-year tenure with Baltimore, Zeitler has never posted a Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade lower than 79.7.

Zeitler would serve as an instant upgrade for the Giants at right guard, just as he was when they acquired him in 2019. Bringing him back for a second stint would give New York some much-needed stability on the interior. He has been on the field for 800+ snaps in 12 consecutive seasons. The Giants can’t go wrong with Mr. Reliable Zeitler.

The Giants could plug in Mike Onwenu anywhere they see fit

While New England Patriots offensive lineman Mike Onwenu is technically considered an offensive tackle, he does have the capabilities to start at guard. Onwenu is expected to hit the open market as an offensive tackle, likely seeking offensive tackle money this offseason. However, the Giants could target Onwenu as their splash signing for any of their three vacant offensive line jobs.

Onwenu primarily started at right tackle in 2023 but also started several games at right guard. He spent the entire 2022 season as the Patriots’ starting right guard as well and even played a fair amount of left guard in 2021. No matter what position he plays, Onwenu plays it well.

In 2023, Onwenu earned a 71.5 overall Pro Football Focus grade after surrendering only three sacks and 23 total pressures on the season.

The Giants could aim to reunite Onwenu with new offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo who was with the Patriots from 2020 to 2021. Whether Onwenu takes the starting right tackle, right guard, or left guard job will be up to the coaching staff. But the 26-year-old would serve as an upgrade and a long-term solution at any one of those positions.

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