Giants could target athletic interior lineman in 1st round

joe tippmann, new york giants
Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Joe Tippmann (75) talks to the media as part of Wisconsin Badgers football media day at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Badgers Media Day 0679

When it comes to the New York Giants and the 25th overall pick, the rumors are endless. General manager Joe Schoen could look to bolster the wide receiver unit, adding a WR1 to maximize Daniel Jones’s long-term extension. Jones has never had a top receiver to work with, and while the team added plenty of depth and traded for tight-end Darren Waller, it may not be enough, given the injury history.

Nonetheless, there’s a strong argument to make that bolstering the offensive line is equally as important, considering Jones got plenty of value out of his receivers but a lack of time in the pocket was a detrimental factor.

The Giants are betting on Evan Neal to take a big step forward regarding his development, having struggled during his rookie season, allowing eight sacks and 52 total pressures across 862 snaps. Ultimately, Neal was dealing with an injury during the second half of the season, in which his numbers regressed significantly.

The Giants also allowed centers Nick Gates and Jon Feliciano to part ways in free agency, so they could be looking for an improvement in the first round. In fact, some analysts believe they will target a center to provide a long-term solution at a position that has been a weakness for the team over the past few years.

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Giants could snag day-one starter in Joe Tippmann:

There are a number of quality interior linemen that Big Blue can choose from, but one that will undoubtedly stands out is Joe Tippmann of Wisconsin. At 6’6″ and 313 pounds, Tippmann is unusually tall for a center, but projects to be an above-average starter during his career. Aside from his tremendous head of hair, Tippmann ranked 2nd among centers regarding his athleticism score and had the highest total score of any player at the position during the 2023 combine.

“The Giants did a nice job adding some much-needed speed to the skill positions in free agency. Tippman would team up with two young, talented offensive tackles to protect Daniel Jones for the foreseeable future.”

Via Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com.

Tippmann was a two-year starter for Wisconsin, posting above-average athleticism and tremendous bend. He’s able to get to the second level quickly and offers support in the running game but also holds his ground in the passing game. There’s an argument to be made that he could serve a role as a starting guard, but his dominance at center certainly makes him an attractive option to fill a weakness for the Giants.

His experience in multiple schemes will translate well to the NFL, especially with the Giants, who have a healthy blend of offensive strategies. Mixing the Chiefs’ west-coast style with an explosive downfield Buffalo offense has created something special around Daniel Jones, who is able to utilize his legs on the ground but also maximize good arm talent and velocity.

The most impressive thing about Tippmann may not be his athleticism, though, it may just be his football IQ. His ability to diagnose plays pre-snap and understand blocking schemes makes him NFL-ready. Smarts and athleticism are two important variables for offensive linemen and Tippmann has both.

The question is, will Tippmann be available in the second round, and are the Giants better off going BPA at 25 and trading up to snag a long-term starter at center in the 2nd?