Giants have position battle brewing at left guard

ben bredeson, new york giants
Sep 26, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) gains yards after the catch as New York Giants offensive guard Ben Bredeson (68) blocks against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the New York Giants made significant enhancements to various positions, the offensive line continues to be a concern as they head into the 2023 season.

Evan Neal, the right tackle, was a significant weak point in the Giants’ line last year, struggling to adapt to the NFL as a rookie.

Should he make substantial progress this year, the Giants could have a far stronger offensive line. However, position battles are still expected to take place at other interior spots.

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The Giants are set to have a competition for the left guard position:

Josh Ezeudu:

Josh Ezeudu, an offensive lineman from UNC, was selected by the Giants in the third round of the 2022 draft.

Ezeudu, 23 years old and standing at 6-foot-4 and 308 pounds, possesses the ideal size for the left guard position. He specifically featured at LG as a rookie, adding up to 289. During that period, despite a few injuries, he allowed three sacks and 15 total pressures.

Ezeudu is recognized for his impressive foot speed and athleticism. However, as a rookie, he struggled to synchronize his footwork and hand usage, particularly in pass protection. His run blocking was considerably better, and he will aim to further develop his pass-blocking skills, where he could significantly contribute to protecting Daniel Jones.

Ideally, Big Blue would like Ezeudu to secure the starting role, given his rookie contract and being hand-picked by General Manager Joe Schoen last year. However, they won’t sacrifice Daniel Jones to a developmental player, meaning Ezeudu must outright win the job during the preseason.

Ben Bredeson:

There is a high likelihood that Ben Bredeson will start as the Giants’ left guard. Bredeson, a 2020 fourth-round pick from Michigan, performed well last season when fit.

Over 621 total snaps, he allowed a mere 12 pressures and didn’t concede a single sack. Out of these, he played 581 snaps at left guard, 30 at center, and briefly filled in at right guard for just eight snaps. Considering his no-sack record and multiple standout pass protection performances, there’s a compelling argument that Bredeson could clinch the starting role.

Even if Ezeudu ends up as a second-string reserve to cover for potential injuries, he will likely get some game time during the season.

Bredeson has had a varied three seasons in the NFL, dealing with several injuries in 2022. Nonetheless, he has shown moments of promise, and head coach Brian Daboll will aim to coax a bit more consistency from him moving forward.