One way or another, the New York Giants need to allocate draft capital towards fixing the offensive line. Primarily, the right tackle position remains a major liability, but with the 5th overall pick, new general manager Joe Schoen has a variety of ways he can go.
However, Schoen will face stiff competition for offensive tackle support, and there’s a possibility his top options are off the board by the time he has a chance to make his selection. In that case, he could take a strategic avenue of trading back and acquiring a player who may not reside in the top tier of prospects at the position but would be a starter nonetheless in 2022.
In this scenario, let’s assume that Alabama tackle Evan Neal and NC State tackle Ikem Ekwonu are off the board by the time the Giants have their first pick. In that case, Schoen could elect to swing for Mississippi State OL Charles Cross or trade back and acquire a bit more value.
Giants’ Schoen recently expressed his desire for more draft ammo, stating:
I would say where we are right now, as many at-bats as you can get, as many swings as you can get. Again, I don’t think you’re ever one player away. But if it’s the second round and there’s a player you gave a first-round grade to, and you think that highly of him, then I think you go get him.
I’m open to moving up, moving back, whatever it may be, as long as I can sleep good at night with the decision that I make. If I move back and I end up losing out on a player I like, I have to be able to live with that, or stay and take a guy or go up and get him. Again, if you’re drafting good players and you’re confident and convicted in your decision, then you’ll sleep good at night.
Three teams that could fit the bill in a trade-back scenario are the Denver Broncos with the 9th overall pick, Washington at 11, and New Orleans at 18 (all QB-needy teams). The Giants would be targeting Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning, who stood out at the Senior Bowl and represents tier-2 of options in this draft class but has tremendous upside.
Given the Giants are left without many options at the top of the 1st round, they may be able to add a 2nd round pick and grab a 1st round talent to plug their right-tackle spot.
Penning is a monster of a human at 6’7″, 321-pounds, featuring immense power and anchor in the passing game. His demeanor as a run-blocker is superb, and is known for his hostile finishes as a blocker. Penning may struggle in passing sets due to poor bend and lateral agility, which may be problematic for faster edge rushers who can attack the edge. However, when Penning gets inside leverage and gets you in his clutches, he’s virtually unstoppable to break free from (as displayed in the video below).
— Erik Lambert (@ErikLambert1) February 6, 2022
If Penning can add a bit more flexibility to his frame and quicker reaction timing, he could develop into a powerful yet agile tackle who can lock down the right side for years to come. Joe Schoen loves players who give the extra effort, and Penning undoubtedly provides that intangible trait.