The New York Giants were praised unanimously for their efforts during the 2023 NFL Draft. Experts gave New York high grades for their draft class with many citing second-round selection John Michael Schmitz as their best pick. Schmitz will likely step in as a day-one starter on the offensive line, massively upgrading the unit for Big Blue. However, the Giants still have a big question mark at left guard going into the 2023 season.
Giants still have a big question mark at left guard
The Giants drafted Schmitz with the 57th overall pick in this year’s draft and the rookie will likely be a dau-one starter. Center has been a big position of need for New York for the past several seasons, but Schmitz should serve as the long-term solution to this problem.
To the left of Schmitz, however, there is a massive question mark at guard. Schmitz is a projected starter on the offensive line along with second-team All-Pro Andrew Thomas at left tackle and second-year right tackle Evan Neal. Mark Glowinski projects as the starter at right guard. But at left guard, the projected Week 1 starter is currently unclear.
New York did not address the guard position during the 2023 NFL Draft. However, there are a couple of players currently on the roster who will compete for the starting job. A camp battle could ensue between veteran Ben Bredeson and second-year guard Joshua Ezeudu.
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Bredeson is the far more experienced option of the two at left guard. The 25-year-old lineman is entering his fourth season in the NFL and played over 500 snaps at left guard for the Giants in 2022. Bredeson started eight games this past season and played in 11, surrendering 11 pressures and zero sacks on the year.
Ezeudu was one of New York’s two third-round draft picks last offseason. As a rookie, Ezeudu was hampered by injuries, but he did manage to see extended playing time at left guard during the first half of the season. The UNC product played 290 snaps last year and struggled, surrendering 15 pressures and three sacks in 10 games (two starts).
While Ezeudu experienced a fair share of rookie growing pains, there is still potential for him to turn things around and earn the starting job this summer. However, Bredeson’s starting experience and solid performance during the 2022 season make him the favorite for the job.
It is also worth noting that Shane Lemieux is still on the roster. The 2019 fifth-round draft pick has had his career derailed by injuries, but could still compete for the job this summer.