It has been over a decade since the New York Giants had a premium offensive line. With years of poor drafting plaguing the trenches, new management is looking to solve it once and for all.
However, it ultimately boils down to coaching, as we’ve seen over the past few seasons, which left tackle Andrew Thomas somehow managed to escape despite everybody around him failing to develop.
Thomas took a monstrous step forward in his growth last season, and the Giants have an opportunity to pair a great young tackle on the right side, taking a big step forward and helping Daniel Jones put the pieces together.
Having two first-round picks gives the Giants great leverage in acquiring one of the top three offensive tackles on the board. Whether it be Ikem Ekwonu, Charles Cross, or Evan Neal, Big Bue has an opportunity to inject more talent into the right tackle position after years of turnover.
With the NFL Draft quickly approaching, player stocks have fluctuated, and the Giants are now in line to potentially land Alabama stud tackle Evan Neal.
Bama’s Evan Neal is a real possibility at 5 for NY. #Giants like Neal a lot and drafting him would signal a bona fide investment in Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley — something both players deserve.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) April 6, 2022
Neal is one of the best players in the entire draft class, making him a steal at 5th overall for the Giants. Standing at 6’7” and 337 pounds, he ran a faster 40-yard dash than Ekwonu, who is 30 pounds lighter.
Neal features an unbelievable frame covered in muscle, similar to Aaron Donald. While there is some concern with his intensity and aggressiveness, he has impeccable fundamentals entering the NFL coming from a pro-ready Alabama system. Some believe he’s getting preferential treatment because he’s coming from Alabama, but there’s no question he would immediately upgrade the RT position for the Giants and put them in place to build a sufficient line finally.
In addition, moving him to the right side may benefit him long-term since it wouldn’t be the quarterback’s blindside.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein raves about Evan Neal in his draft profile:
Three-year starter with rare combination of measurables, talent and pedigree. Neal has experience against the best competition the college game has to offer. He has started at both left and right tackle and should project on the left side if he can continue to manage his weight. While he has flashes of greatness on tape, he doesn’t always maintain that level throughout a game. Intensity and consistency are two areas that will be key in matching performance with profile. Technique has been drilled into him and Neal plays with good fundamentals across the board. He’s well-versed and capable in a variety of run schemes and has correctable areas of improvement in pass protection. Neal will come into the league as a good NFL starter, but greatness will require additional attitude and action.