Giants’ offensive line disrespected again, but for good reason

New York Giants offensive tackle Evan Neal (73) and New York Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (78) exit the field after defeating the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are facing harsh criticism as they enter the 2024 season, with PFF ranking them as the worst offensive line in the NFL. Despite efforts by General Manager Joe Schoen, who added five free agents to the mix, the line’s reputation remains unimproved.

Giants’ Key Offseason Acquisitions

Among the new faces, Jon Runyan and Jermaine Eluemunor stand out as significant additions, both expected to start this season. Runyan, who performed better as a left guard than at right guard with the Green Bay Packers, allowed 22 pressures and two sacks last year. His shift back to left guard should bolster the Giants’ pass protection.

Eluemunor, on the other hand, has been a slightly above-average right tackle over the past two seasons and is likely to take over the starting role from Evan Neal. It would be prudent for Neal to begin training at guard to adapt to this potential change smoothly.

nfl: las vegas raiders at pittsburgh steelers, jermaine eluemunor, new york giants
Dec 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders guard Jermaine Eluemunor (72) prepares to block at the line of scrimmage against Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Challenges and Expectations

Despite these strategic additions, the Giants are still not projected to climb out of the bottom rank in offensive line power rankings. PFF remains cautious, reflecting on the team’s 2023 performance:

“Even after earning the worst offensive line grade of any team in 2023, the Giants did very little to improve their unit this offseason. The group recorded a 44.6 PFF grade last year and will hope a fully healthy Andrew Thomas and the additions of guard Jon Runyan (56.5 PFF grade in 2023) and tackle Jermaine Eluemunor (68.7) can provide a boost.”

The hiring of Carmen Bricillo from the Las Vegas Raiders is a positive step, considering his previous success in nurturing an above-average pass-protecting line with limited talent. Given that the Raiders led the league in rushing in 2022, the Giants may see some improvement.

However, the key to turning the tide lies in effectively developing their young talent and ensuring the overall health of the line, which has been a recurring issue in recent years. The future success of the Giants’ offensive line will largely depend on Neal’s progression and the unit’s ability to stay healthy, addressing the long-standing challenges they have faced in the trenches.

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