If the New York Giants want to maximize their offense in the future, reinforcing the offensive line and developing their young talent is a priority. They recently hired former Las Vegas Raiders offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo to take over after the departure of Bobby Johnson.
Bricillo is a solid developmental coach who has significantly helped the Raiders over the past two seasons. In fact, during his first year with the organization, running back Josh Jacobs led the league in rushing yards. With a patchwork OL, Bricillo helped build an above-average pass-blocking unit this past season, led by a myriad of undrafted free agents and stop-gap options.
With Evan Neal struggling to find his footing at the NFL level and dealing with injuries to both ankles this past season, the Giants have no choice but to help reinforce the position and add competition. Neal won’t be given the starting job moving forward, he will have to earn it and there’s one player the Giants can sign who should immediately compete for the job.
The Giants Should 100% Sign Jermaine Eluemunor
Based on how former 5th-round pick Jermaine Eluemunor performed over the past two years under the leadership of Bricillo, it is safe to say this wouldn’t be much of a position battle.
The 29-year-old would likely win this job without a real competition, giving up 28 pressures and six sacks this past season across 905 snaps. In his first year with Bricillo, he gave up 26 pressures and three sacks over 940 snaps. Comparably, Neal allowed 30 pressures and two sacks this past season over 460 snaps, about half the playing time. It’s also important to note that Eluemunor didn’t give up a single sack between Weeks 5-17.
Eluemunor isn’t being regarded as a top free agent signing, but he’s a perfect scheme fit in Bricillo’s system and should be an easy target for the Giants if they want to add competition to right tackle and potentially solve it with a cheaper alternative.
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Eluemunor is a late bloomer who put together solid grades at both run blocking and pass protection. He’s also capable of playing left tackle if need be, at a lesser level but capable nonetheless.
The Giants likely don’t want to spend another top-8 pick on an offensive tackle, so developing their current talent and finding reasonable free-agent contracts would be a more advisable move.
A position battle between Neal and Eluemunor would ultimately allow the Giants’ former 8th overall pick to move inside to guard, where his frame profiles a bit better and his size would be ideal. Neal has had trouble with his reaction timing on the outside, and the lack of quickness has put him in a tough spot against speed rushers with good bend.
Those issues aren’t to disappear overnight and given his recent injury history, it is safe to say the Giants have no choice but to consider moving him to another position where he can restart his career.
Eluemunor earned just $3 million last season with the Raiders, so a three-year, $15 million deal may get the job done for the Giants, who would find a starting tackle with upside and experience — worst case, he ends up a quality swing tackle, and we know how valuable those can be.