New York Giants: Offensive linemen to target in the 2021 NFL Draft

new york giants, wyatt davis
Sep 7, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Wyatt Davis (52) against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have had a phenomenal free agency period. They re-signed star defensive lineman Leonard Williams and landed free agency’s top wide receiver Kenny Golladay. The Giants also seem to be on the verge of filling another need with the potential signing of Adoree’ Jackson.

New York’s biggest need entering free agency has been addressed. They added playmakers on offense in Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph. If they also land Adoree’ Jackson, they will fill another significant need on defense. The Giants’ next biggest weakness to address is now their offensive line.

The Giants’ offensive line was one of the worst in the NFL in 2020. The Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win-rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. The Giants prioritized upgrading Daniel Jones’s weapons, however, maybe more than anything, they still need to fix the offensive line in front of him.

Offensive linemen to target in the 2021 NFL Draft

Rashawn Slater

The Giants could potentially go offensive line in the first round now that they have added their alpha-dog playmaker, Kenny Golladay. There are a couple of intriguing names for the Giants at eleven. Rashawn Slater out of Northwestern stands out as a realistic top option.

Penei Sewell is the top offensive tackle in this year’s class. But the odds of Sewell falling outside the top-ten are slim. Rashawn Slater has a better chance of falling to the Giants at eleven for one main reason: many teams view him as a guard. Slater was a dominant offensive tackle in college that handled Chase Young better than anyone in his dominant 2019 season. But, at six-foot-three with only 33″ arms, many project Slater to be a guard at the next level.

The Giants’ biggest weakness on their offensive line is the guard position. The Giants have their left tackle of the future in Andrew Thomas. Right tackle is a question mark, but Dave Gettleman is confident in Matt Peart as a future starter. Rashawn Slater could be drafted by the Giants to compete outside with Matt Peart, but he could also move immediately inside to start at offensive guard. He has the talent and athleticism to be a day-one starter, his position is just undefined.

If the Giants draft Rashawn Slater at eleven overall, they are getting one of two things: a talented, undersized player with the potential to be a top offensive tackle OR a day-one starter and upgrade at offensive guard. Rashawn Slater would be a perfect pick for the Giants with the eleventh pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Mid-round options

There are a few interior offensive linemen that stand out in the second, third, or fourth rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. In round two, a standout name is Wyatt Davis out of Ohio State. Davis is a right guard out of OSU that draws comparisons to Kevin Zeitler.

Wyatt Davis totaled 865 pass-block snaps in his career at Ohio State. On those snaps, Davis allowed only 4 sacks and 1 quarterback hit (PFF). He is a phenomenal pass protector and a mauler in the run game. Davis could start instantly on the Giants’ offensive line.

An intriguing option in the later rounds is Quinn Meinerz, a D-3 prospect out of Wisconsin Whitewater. Meinerz dominated at the 2021 Senior Bowl, putting him on everyone’s radar leading up to the NFL Draft. Meinerz, being from a small school, is much of an unknown, but he handled everything thrown his way at the Senior Bowl and could now go as early as the second round.

Meinerz is a big-nasty mauler on the interior that the Giants could select and give a chance to develop into a starting offensive lineman.