The New York Giants‘ offensive line struggled tremendously 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. So while the Giants did upgrade Daniel Jones’s weapons in free agency, fans feel like they still desperately need to fix the offensive line in front of him.
But there is reason to believe that the Giants’ offensive line will improve in 2021 despite any new acquisitions. In particular, Will Hernandez should enjoy a solid bounce-back season. The Giants’ 2018 second-round pick struggled immensely in 2020 but is in line for an improved 2021 season.
Why Will Hernandez will bounce back in 2021
Will Hernandez was solid as a rookie in 2018. Giants fans felt like Hernandez was their long-term starter after he flashed a lot of potential as a rookie. But after a slight regression in year two, then a further regression in year three, Giants fans are now low on Hernandez and do not feel confident in him as their starting offensive guard.
Hernandez was benched in 2020 for rookie Shane Lemieux. Big Will started the first seven games of the season before contracting the COVID-19 virus. After spending two weeks on the COVID/reserve list, Hernandez returned to the team, but not to the starting lineup. As it turns out, there was more to the story that the Giants kept under wraps.
Will Hernandez played the 2020 season hurt according to Duke Manyweather, one of the top offensive line developers in the country who has worked with Hernandez. Will was dealt a really bad hand in 2020, dealing with COVID complications, a shortened offseason with a new offensive coordinator, a firing midseason change at offensive line coach, and an injury on top of all of that.
Somewhere in Will Hernandez is a good football player. We have not seen that good football player show up as consistently as we would like, but Hernandez is capable of being a starting offensive guard. 2021 is his “make-or-break” year. Fully healthy in 2021, looking slimmer and in better shape in his most recent social media posts, Will Hernandez could bounce back this season and return as a starter on the New York Giants offensive line.