Giants will have great shot to land Iowa stud interior offensive lineman in 2022 NFL Draft

new york giants, iowa, tyler linderbaum

The New York Giants currently rank dead last in pass blocking, per PFF. With several injuries impacting the efficiency of their OL, making a few improvements, this upcoming off-season would be beneficial. Relying on the return of Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates, and veteran tackle Nate Solder might be a bit too optimistic.

Lucky for Big Blue, there are several high-end prospects they can consider. With three selections in the first two rounds, the Giants have the capital to land a premium prospect, and one interior lineman stands out as a great fit.

There’s no guarantee that Gates will ever return to his former self after breaking his leg against the Washington Football Team earlier this season. Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, a former three-star recruit and incredible athlete, could fit the bill nicely as the team’s new center. Linderbaum projects as a starting setter at the NFL level with elite attributes, but his scheme fit is worth considering.

According to The Draft Network, Linderbaum would be best used in an outside-zone scheme, which may fit the Giants well if they continue to lean on SAquon Barkley at running back:

Linderbaum possesses the natural movement skills and functional athleticism to be a high-end starting center in an outside/wide zone Shanahan-style offense. The quickness in which Linderbaum gets out of the blocks is super impressive and you can see his wrestling background shine with his ability to win leverage points and successfully claiming gaps even if he’s leveraged at the snap.

I have been hammering this specific point for quite some time; the Giants don’t use Saquon Barkley to his potential. Utilizing him as an inside zone, power runner doesn’t fit his mold as a glorified scatback. Giving him more time in the backfield to pick his lanes is advisable, which is why they might consider transitioning to a Shanahan-style outside zone scheme in 2021. That would require the team to move on from Jason Garrett as their coordinator, which is also a beneficial move.

If they are planning to stick with Barkley for the 2022 season, which seems likely, their best bet is adapting to his style of play instead of forcing him into a scheme that doesn’t necessarily fit his skill set.

If they are willing to make that advancement, Linderbaum would be a fantastic selection. However, the Giants might even be able to trade back once again in the first round, collecting more draft capital while landing their preferred choice. The team did a fantastic job executing in the past draft class, landing OLB Azeez Ojulari with the 50th overall pick and Kadarius Toney at 20th overall.

There is no question a Giants need to allocate resources toward bolstering the OL, and adding more draft capital while landing a player like Linderbaum would be a win–win. Of course, they also have the Chicago Bears’ first-round pick, which could end up being an even higher selection than the Giants’ based on their strength of schedule.

Most mock drafts at this point have Tyler being selected in the middle of the first round, as centers often don’t in the top-10. That gives the Giants plenty of flexibility to potentially trade back and grab the best interior lineman in the draft class.

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