Giants add depth at right tackle with former Lions offensive lineman

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Matt Nelson (Giants)
Credit: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants have spent the offseason rebuilding their offensive line. They’ve signed a number of key free agents to compete upfront. The Giants’ offensive line surrendered a league-high 85 sacks in 2023, so upgrading the unit is a point of emphasis for general manager Joe Schoen.

Their most recent addition to the line comes in the way of former Detroit Lions offensive tackle Matt Nelson. The Giants announced that they had signed Nelson on Thursday night.

What is Matt Nelson bringing to the Giants?

Nelson is a four-year NFL veteran who has made 14 starts and played in 43 games in his career so far. The Iowa product spent the last four seasons in Detroit after signing with the Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2019.

Playing time has been limited throughout Nelson’s career. He played in a career-high 13 games with a career-high 11 starts back in 2021. But he did not start a single game in 2022 and played in only three games with two starts in 2023 before being placed on season-ending injured reserve with an ankle injury.

READ MORE: What the Giants’ offensive line will look like in 2024

Nelson was playing well prior to his injury last season. He was on the field for 85 snaps and allowed only two pressures and zero sacks at right tackle. The 6-foot-7, 315-pound offensive tackle earned a 58.0 Pro Football Focus grade across those three games with an above-average 71.6 pass-blocking grade.

The Giants seemingly found the solution to their right tackle woes earlier this offseason. They signed veteran tackle Jermaine Eluemunor to compete for the starting job with Evan Neal. Nelson will add to the mix as a depth piece behind Eluemunor and Neal.

Injuries were abundant on the Giants’ offensive line in 2023. The front office has clearly learned its lesson and has made it a priority to add depth to the unit for the 2024 season.

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