Giants’ young center named their biggest breakout candidate for 2024

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 may see a major ascent from one of their offensive linemen next season. Pro Football Focus rated Giants center John Michael Schmitz as the franchise’s biggest breakout candidate for 2024. Bradley Locker justified the allotment on the premise of there being nowhere to go but up from his 2023 outing:

“There’s really nowhere to go but up for Schmitz after a thoroughly disappointing first season, in which he posted a 41.4 overall grade and a 26.9 pass-blocking grade as a rookie. If you’re looking for solace, his run-blocking grade was a bit better (51.3), and it’s worth noting that eight of his 30 pressures allowed came in Week 18,” Locker wrote.

Giants’ John Michael Schmitz can take a major step next season off of All-Rookie 2023 outing

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 allowed five sacks and 30 total pressures and committed four penalties across 755 snaps played for New York in 2023. He battled through a shoulder injury sustained in Week 4 and was named to NFL.com’s 2023 NFL All-Rookie Team for his work on the campaign.

Schmitz will feed off of a revamped Giants O-line in his potentially huge 2024 season

New York Giants center John Michael Schmitz Jr. (61) warms up with New York Giants guard Marcus McKethan (60) before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium
Nov 5, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New York Giants center John Michael Schmitz Jr. (61) warms up with New York Giants guard Marcus McKethan (60) before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-4, 320-pounder is still listed as the Giants’ starter at center ahead of Austin Schlottmann and Jimmy Morrissey. Schmitz will be instrumental in protecting starting quarterback Daniel Jones and helping the offense maximize the yardage of their backfield and receiving corp.

Thus, once he gets acclimated to Aaron Stinnie and Jon Runyan next to him at left and right guard and has time to develop continuity with his whole new-look offensive line, he’ll be positioned to see a spike in his productivity.

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