Giants’ rookie offensive lineman could change the course of the offense

New York Giants running back Eric Gray (20) celebrates his rushing touchdown  with center John Michael Schmitz Jr. (61) and wide receiver Jalin Hyatt (84) during the first half against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have been battling to revamp their offensive line for a while now. Despite sinking hefty resources into the unit, the results have been subpar. Just last season, they stood at 14th in run blocking and a dismal 24th in pass blocking. But if they want their quarterback, Daniel Jones, to thrive, it’s imperative to shore up the O-line. Enter John Michael-Schmitz, the rookie center who could be a game-changer for Big Blue.

The Giants Invested in High-Quality Protection for Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones’ development is the linchpin for the Giants’ success, making it crucial to protect him from relentless pass rushers. After drafting offensive tackle Evan Neal 7th overall last season, the Giants doubled down by selecting center John Michael-Schmitz from Minnesota in the second round of the most recent draft.

Meet John Michael-Schmitz: The Rookie Center with Promise

Standing at 6’3″ and weighing 310 pounds, this 24-year-old rookie is all set to assume the starting center role for the Giants. Prior to him, the team had over-invested in converted offensive guards and temporary alternatives, which were more like band-aids than solutions.

Michael-Schmitz isn’t a makeshift center; he’s the real deal. He logged 767 snaps in 12 games last year alone, yielding only six total pressures. According to PFF, he notched an impressive 92.3 grade, making him one of the standout talents in his draft class.

High Floor, Rising Ceiling: The NFL’s Outlook on JMS

While Michael-Schmitz may not have the ceiling of a superstar, he definitely has a high floor. He’s expected to be a reliable player right from the get-go. NFL.com even predicts that within a year, he will emerge as a quality starter. This could be a turning point for the Giants’ offense, especially in terms of up-front communication and interior blocking.

Endorsement from Elite Teammate Dexter Lawrence

When an elite player like Dexter Lawrence gives a nod of approval, it’s time to sit up and take notice. “Either you have that animal in you or you don’t,” Lawrence told Pat Leonard of the Daily News. “And I think he has that in him.”

Considering that Lawrence himself had a league-dominating performance in 2022, this endorsement puts considerable weight behind the hype for Michael-Schmitz.

An Off-Season Aimed at Supporting Daniel Jones

The Giants left no stone unturned this off-season to offer Daniel Jones all the support he could get. Apart from investing in Michael-Schmitz, General Manager Joe Schoen revamped the wide receivers unit and pulled off a big move by acquiring star tight end Darren Waller.

In essence, if Daniel Jones is set to succeed, the New York Giants have laid the groundwork to make it happen, particularly with their newly minted rookie center, John Michael-Schmitz.

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