Giants’ offensive tackle predicted to have major breakout in 2023

new york giants, evan neal
Aug 21, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) says a pregame prayer before the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr has named New York Giants Offensive Tackle Evan Neal as a potential breakout player for the 2023 season.

“With one season behind him, Neal has a chance to elevate the Giants’ performance,” Kerr stated. “A strong second season could propel the Giants back to the divisional round of the playoffs, setting optimistic prospects for the future of the offensive line.”

However, Neal’s initial season could be described as somewhat lackluster. The seventh overall draft pick in 2022, he participated in 13 games, achieving a pass-block win rate of just 81.1% and a Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade of 44.1 for the season.

Due to his frequent position changes within the offensive line during his tenure at Alabama, he never fully learned the right tackle role he is expected to fill with the Giants.

Nonetheless, standing at 6’7″ and weighing 360 pounds, Neal has the potential to become an exceptional right tackle once he familiarizes himself with the position.

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The Giants hope Evan Neal can follow the Andrew Thomas trial:

The experiences of Andrew Thomas are illustrative; after achieving a PFF grade of 62.4 in his rookie season, he has since evolved into one of the finest offensive tackles in the NFL, earning a spot on the 2022 All-Pro team.

It remains to be seen whether Neal will tread a similar path, but Thomas’ rapid progression is certainly an encouraging sign.

“I understand what is expected. I know what an NFL-level game entails,” Neal conveyed to the press. “I am just doing my best to perform and play well. So, the experience I gained last year is undoubtedly beneficial heading into this season.”

Should Evan Neal perform to the caliber of his college football track record, the Giants could possess a formidable offensive line, providing quarterback Daniel Jones with the much-needed pocket protection.

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