Giants could be aggressive and solve offensive line overnight with 5th and 7th picks

ikem ekwonu, giants

The New York Giants have endless directions they can explore in the 2022 NFL draft, but one idea that continues to bubble to the surface is drafting two offensive linemen with the 5th and 7th overall picks.

The Giants obviously need to inject more talent into their OL, making the concept of drafting two linemen somewhat realistic, yet unlikely given the need for more positional value on the defensive side as well.

With an opportunity to land two top-three OL prospects, pass rusher, or best player available, new general manager Joe Schoen undoubtedly has a difficult task on his hands. However, if he wants to land a stud guard and top pass-blocking offensive tackle, he can do so in the first 10 picks, solidifying the line for Daniel Jones and the future of the offense.

Let’s assume that North Carolina state offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu is available with the 5th overall selection. While he projects as a starting left tackle, Ekwonu earned second-team All-ACC honors at offensive guard as well in 2020. As a physical mauler at 6’4″, 320 pounds, Ekwonu allowed just two sacks over 820 snaps at left tackle this past year, including 67 pancake blocks and 18 knockdowns.

The idea of moving him to guard would provide the Giants an elite run-blocker on the inside with fantastic athleticism and pass-blocking potential. His explosiveness and aggression would fit the new Giants mold perfectly. Instead of posting him up at the RT position, the Giants can go out with the 7th overall pick and Charles Cross out of Mississippi State.

Cross is considered the best pass blocking OT in the draft class, standing at 6’5” and 305 pounds. Cross has started 20 games for the Bulldogs at left tackle, presenting an exceptional athlete with a solid first step and athleticism. He’s not the dominant run blocker that Ekwonu provides, but his pass-protection is exactly what Daniel Jones needs going into his fourth year in the NFL.

As stated above, the positional value complex of drafting two offensive linemen in the top-10 comes with problems, but it would solve the Giants’ OL issues overnight. This scenario is unlikely, but for Giants fans that have watched the OL break down instantaneously over the past few seasons, it would be a welcomed edition. Some might also argue that Tyler Linderbaum might be a better fit in a trade-back scenario, but Ekwonu’s ability to play multiple positions makes him a bit more valuable.

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