The New York Giants‘ offensive line consistently ranks among the worst in football. This season, they have the 32nd ranked pass protecting unit, having allowed 41 sacks and 237 pressures.
The hope was that the second-year tackle would take a big step forward, but some argue he got even worse this season. Neal gave up eight sacks and 52 pressures in his rookie season in 2022. He played 862 snaps, dealing with an MCL strain that forced him to miss several games.
However, this season hasn’t been any better, playing 460 snaps, including 30 pressures and two sacks. Unfortunately, he continues to be a liability, but his inability to stay healthy has disrupted his development.
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Giants Needed Evan Neal to Take a Big Step Forward
Neal suffered injuries to both ankles this season, but according to the New York Daily News, he will require surgery to correct a fracture in his left foot.
At this point, the Giants can’t go into 2024 with Neal as their only option at right tackle. They need to bring in a free agent to support or look to the draft to bring in a development project. In fact, there’s a strong argument to make that Neal should transition inside, taking over one of the starting guard spots. While that isn’t his preference, given he will make far more as a tackle, the Giants simply can’t rely on him to hold down the fort since he has proven to be a compromising factor in the trenches
For now, general manager Joe Schoen will have to navigate a turbulent situation following the investment of the 8th overall pick in 2022 to help solidify the line. Neal showed plenty of promise while at Alabama, but his fundamentals have broken down, and a lack of competent coaching has derailed his growth.