The New York Giants have a difficult decision to make on their offensive line this offseason. RT Evan Neal struggled during what was a crucial 2023 season before landing on season-ending injured reserve in Week 9. Despite being a top-10 pick in 2022, Neal’s future with the team is already in question after two highly disappointing seasons to start his career.
The Giants could be seeking Evan Neal’s replacement this offseason
According to SNY’s Connor Hughes, Neal’s standing as the team’s starting right tackle is on shaky ground as the Giants are expected to “actively look” for his replacement this offseason:
“[Evan Neal is] their right tackle … right now. I’d expect the Giants to actively look for his replacement this offseason, though. This could come in the first round of the draft (Notre Dame’s Joe Alt, Penn State’s Olu Fashanu) or free agency (Michael Onwenu, Jonah Williams, Jermaine Eluemunor),” Hughes reports. “They’ll kick Neal inside once they find that player.”
The thought of the Giants moving Neal inside to guard is intriguing considering the team’s hesitance to make such a move during the 2023 season. General manager Joe Schoen told reporters during the team’s bye week that they did not plan to move Neal to guard, although, he acknowledged that the second-year tackle needed to play better.
Neal himself scoffed at the idea of moving to guard, telling reporters he “stepped out of the womb as an offensive tackle.” Despite the two parties’ shared apprehension about the position change, a move inside to guard might be inevitable this offseason. Neal surrendered 30 pressures and two sacks with a 39.8 overall Pro Football Focus grade in only seven games this season. He’s been a liability while on the field in his first two seasons and has struggled to remain on the field as well.
The Giants will have plenty of opportunities to find a replacement for Neal this offseason. In free agency, they could target starting-caliber tackles, such as Michael Onwenu or Jermaine Eluemunor, as Hughes mentioned. Or they could aim to add talent at right tackle in the draft. Regardless, Neal’s starting job needs to be open to competition after two consecutive disastrous seasons to open his career.
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