The New York Giants made a massive upgrade to the interior of their offensive line, selecting center John Michael Schmitz in the second round of the draft. However, they still have a weakness at left guard with no clear starter on the roster. As offseason programming kicks into high gear, the Giants could consider adding some talent to the guard position via free agency.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently predicted that the Giants would sign former Broncos guard Dalton Risner in free agency following the draft. Risner could be a solid option for Big Blue as a veteran with plenty of experience at the left guard position.
Giants could target free agent LG Dalton Risner
Currently, the Giants have no defined starter at the left guard position on their roster. Instead, the likes of Joshua Ezeudu, Ben Bredeson, and Shane Lemieux seem primed for a positional battle this summer. Big Blue could add Risner to the mix as a career starter that could steal the starting job.
According to Pro Football Focus, “Risner has been a consistently above-average blocker who excels in pass blocking, posting four straight years with a 69.5-plus pass-blocking grade.”
Risner, a 2019 second-round pick, has started at least 15 games for the Denver Broncos at left guard each of the last four seasons. Entering his fifth season in the league, Risner could provide New York with veteran experience and quality play in the trenches.
As Barnwell writes, Risner “was expected to land a multiyear deal for starter money somewhere in free agency.” However, the market never came together for Risner this off-season. The veteran is now likely looking for one-year deals ahead of training camp.
“A one-year deal with the Giants in the $5 million range would make sense for both parties,” Barnwell writes. “Brian Daboll’s team would get a veteran protecting Jones and security if Ezeudu struggles to return, while Risner would play in a well-regarded offense and earn a shot at a long-term deal after 2023, either with the Giants or elsewhere.”
While the Giants do seem comfortable heading into the upcoming season with Bredeson and Ezeudu, it wouldn’t hurt to add some additional talent to the position through free agency. Risner stands out as a veteran that could contribute immediately as a starter on New York’s offensive line.