Giants have a lot riding on 2 new offensive line signings

Green Bay Packers guard Jon Runyan (76) blocks as quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants had the worst-ranked pass-blocking unit in football last season, but that hasn’t been an unusual occurrence for a team that consistently fails to put together a competent offensive line. In fact, it is almost impressive how bad the Giants have been in pass protection, allowing 267 pressures and 45 sacks in 2023.

Even co-owner John Mara stated that it has been “ridiculous” to watch the Giants’ OL fail, and the frustration has certainly mounted to unknown levels.

Despite signing Andrew Thomas to a massive five-year, $117.5 million deal, the Giants consistently walk out a unit that underperforms. They fired previous offensive line coach Bobby Johnson and hired Carmen Bricillo, who’s coming over from the Las Vegas Raiders, a team that had an above-average pass-protecting unit last season. In fact, in Bricillo’s first year with the Raiders, their offense had the top-ranked rushing attack, and that is with multiple journeymen and cheaper players on the offensive line.

Now, Bricillo has a star left tackle, a promising young center, and several players with legitimate upside to work with. However, general manager manager Joe Schoen made two additional signings this off-season to reinforce the unit, adding Jon Runyan and Jermaine Eluemunor.

The Giants Made Several Signings This Off-season

Runyon is coming over from the Green Bay Packers, and his numbers may not spark much confidence; the Giants will likely utilize him at left guard, his preferred spot.

Runyan isn’t known for his run-blocking qualities, but he is known for his pass-protection, putting together several elite games to open the 2022 season before the Packers moved him to right guard with Elgton Jenkins swapping over to left guard.

Essentially, Green Bay moved Runyan out of his best spot to favor Jenkins, and the Giants are keen on capitalizing on that decision. They signed him to a three-year, $30-million-dollar deal, but they have an out after the second season with a $2.5 million dead salary hit.

This is a great contract that allows them to invest in an above-average pass protector at left guard at under-market value. Several teams spend more than $17 million per season acquiring great pass-protectors, but the Bricillo scheme should also help capitalize on Runyan’s’ athletic profile, so he could improve in run blocking as well.

Nonetheless, just as the Giants found tremendous value from Bobby Okereke at linebacker last season on a four-year, $40 million deal, Runyan can provide a respectable level of play at left guard at a reasonable cost.

Fortunately, Runyan may not be the only steal the Giants landed in free agency since Eluemunor has already made an impact connecting with a fan base.

At 29 years old, Eluemunor signed a two-year, $14 million deal, including $6.75 million in guaranteed money. If the Giants wanted to move on next season, they would have to pay $2.75 million in dead money, but they would save $6.5 million, so it is a healthy deal that brings an experienced player in Bricillo’s scheme over to New York.

Last season, Eluemunor played 905 snaps at right tackle, giving up 28 pressures and six sacks. Considering Evan Neal gave up more pressures in half the number of snaps, it is safe to say that he should provide an upgrade at right tackle if he does not compete for the starting job.

It’s Evan Neal’s Job to Lose

For now, Neal will maintain his starting role. Still, the Giants are certainly expected to generate a position battle at right tackle, and Eluemunor has significantly more experience and proven production.

Neal is coming off a season where he battled injuries to his ankles and is close to being labeled as injury-prone. At this point, Neal would have to take a significant step forward with his development, which would push Eluemunor inside to right guard, where he does have 534 snaps of experience.

Back in 2021, he played 226 snaps at the position, giving up five pressures, so he’s more than capable of holding his own if the Giants need to utilize him as a versatile piece.

At face value, Schoen added two quality players at much cheaper price points than the rest of the league was spending. While they weren’t known as the best on the market, the Giants clearly did their homework and believe Runyan and Eluemunor are more than capable of holding their own as starters during the 2024 season.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: