Giants rookie striving to be like Eagles legend

New York Giants center John Michael Schmitz Jr. (61) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of their Christmas Day matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants rookie center John Michael Schmitz is aiming to one day enter the same threshold as Eagles’ legendary center, Jason Kelce.

“Jason Kelce is the standard,” said Schmitz via NorthJersey.com. “The way he goes about the job, the command he has, the attitude and the technique, earning respect. That’s what you aspire to be.”

Emulating a future Hall of Famer is no easy task

Kelce is well on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so it will undoubtedly take a lot for Schmitz to reach that level of success, and it will come with some adversity along the way.

However, the rookie center has shown a lot of promise in his first NFL season, and while it has been a bumpy road overall, he has shown that he could anchor the Giants’ offense in the years to come.

Can Schmitz be a piece to build around on the Giants’ offensive line?

Schmitz, 24, was taken with the Giants’ second-round pick in the most recent NFL draft and was named First Team All-American in 2022. He has shown the potential to be a strong leader in the Giants’ locker room, as well as be a consistent force at the center position on the field.

Despite allowing four sacks this season and owning a 51.1 overall Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade, part of adapting to being an offensive lineman in the NFL is learning from struggles.

The Giants desperately need to find stability in their offensive line group, which collectively has been one of the worst in the NFL this season. If Schmitz can develop into a piece that emulates the future Hall of Famer, then the Giants could have themselves an elite piece to build around.

“The technique he uses, the leadership he has in that o-line room, that’s something you want to emulate and be like that one day. Props to him,” said Schmitz via NorthJersey.com. “He’s a hell of a player. I definitely looked up to him as a player when I was watching him as a kid, and I still do.”

The matchup between the two will certainly be one to keep a close eye on, especially for Schmitz given that this will be his first meeting with Kelce. The game will be played at 4:30 P.M. EST on Christmas Day and will be televised nationally on FOX.

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