Giants’ second-year center gets major compliment from new veteran teammate

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 SportsCredit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants look like they’ll have an offensive line on one accord in 2024.

Per Ed Valentine of Big Blue View, Jon Runyan Jr. recently raved about his fellow offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz and his value to the team at OTA’s:

“It has really been amazing playing next to John Michael,” Runyan said. “If I would’ve came in here not knowing his background, I would’ve thought he was a five-year veteran. He comes in here and he takes it serious. He is on top of his stuff. He rarely makes a mistake, he gets everybody set on the offensive line.”

“Having a center like that is awesome. It helps everybody out, the five across.”

Giants: John Michael Schmitz gets recognition from his teammate during spring workouts

Green Bay Packers guard Jon Runyan (76) blocks as quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Oct 9, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Green Bay Packers guard Jon Runyan (76) blocks as quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Schmitz is only 25 years old and entering his second season in the NFL. To garner such praise from Runyan Jr. is a testament to the former No. 57 overall pick’s work ethic, leadership, and production on the field.

The Giants desperately need those qualities out of not only Schmitz but everyone on their offensive line after the abysmal outing they had in 2023. In order to protect quarterback Daniel Jones, prevent him from suffering another career-altering injury, give the offense enough time to grease its wheels, and avoid leading the NFL in sacks allowed (85) again, the O-Line will need to move to the step of the Minnesota product.

Schmitz’s improvement will be paramount to the Giants’ offensive success in 2024

New York Giants center John Michael Schmitz Jr. (61) snaps the ball to quarterback Tommy DeVito (15) during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome
Dec 17, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New York Giants center John Michael Schmitz Jr. (61) snaps the ball to quarterback Tommy DeVito (15) during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Schmitz’s precision in practice will hopefully go a long way in helping him improve from his performance as a rookie, where he earned a 41.4 player grade from Pro Football Focus. Runyan Jr.’s rave remarks about the Illinois native will be word until Schmitz makes it bond throughout the course of the 17-game slate this year. For now, the recognition could pay major dividends for camaraderie building and morale as the Giants approach mandatory minicamp on Tuesday.

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