Giants sign veteran center to compete for starting role

J.C. Hassenauer, new york giants
Jan 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers center J.C. Hassenauer (60) lines up against the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have finally added some depth to their offensive line, signing center J.C. Hassenauer. This offseason, Big Blue lost two starters on the interior of their offensive line as Nick Gates and Jon Feliciano both walked in free agency. Hassenauer will serve as a potential replacement for one of those players as he signs to compete for a starting role up front.

What does J.C. Hassenauer bring to the Giants?

J.C. Hassenauer is a 6-foot-2, 295-pound offensive lineman who has been in the NFL since 2018. Hassenauer was an undrafted prospect out of Alabama that year, which is where his connection to the Giants stems from.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll coached Hassenauer as Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2017. “He’s a smart, tough guy,” Daboll said of Hassenauer during their time with the Crimson Tide. “To play offensive line you have to have both of those qualities. You have to be smart and you have to be tough.

“You’ve got to be able to work well with the guys that are beside you and handle the roles that you need to handle in terms of playing that spot. He’s done a really good job of working all year, whether he was starting or not starting. He’s a good, young professional.”

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Hassenauer has made seven starts in his NFL career, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 27-year-old center has appeared in 45 games in his career.

The Giants are also gaining some positional versatility on their offensive line with Hassenauer. Of his seven career starts, five came at center and two came at left guard. Hassenauer has the ability to play more than one position up front, giving the Giants the added depth that they need on their offensive line.

Despite signing a center in Hassenauer, this move is unlikely to change the Giants’ draft plans. Hassenauer will compete for the starting center job, however, he should not prevent the Giants from drafting an offensive lineman early. New York could still look to add a younger talent to compete for the same starting role that Hassenauer is seeking.