Many are focused on the big offensive tackle prospects in the 2022 NFL draft, notably Ikem Ekwonu, Evan Neal, and Charles Cross. The New York Giants desperately need more support at the position, and they can go in various different directions to plug the right tackle spot.
Depending on who is available with the 5th or 7th overall selections, new general manager Joe Schoen has a big decision to make. However, there is one option that could be available later on in the first round that not many are talking about but still possesses great physical attributes and a solid body of work at both left and right tackle.
One of the biggest concerns for the Giants in this draft is that the majority of the players available at OT are projected as starting left tackles in the NFL. Making the transition isn’t easy, but having already played the position, one Ohio State player could be a perfect solution.
Kyle Crabbs of the Draft Network delivered a solid review of Nicholas Petit-Frere:
Petit-Frere has excellent physical tools and offers the kind of frame that is meant to play on the edge. He’s long, dense, and fluid as an athlete, offering a promising skill set for an NFL team to continue to tinker with in an effort to reach his high ceiling. There are some technical and instinctual lapses that pop up from time to time in his footwork and angles, but generally speaking, Petit-Frere has overwhelmed most opponents with his blend of traits.
Excellent hand replacement for Nicholas Petit-Frere, great layered and placed ball by Stroud. pic.twitter.com/Lr3zEaM3zr
— Cory (@realcorykinnan) November 19, 2021
Petit-Frere is an extremely underrated option for the Giants, giving up no sacks and only four pressures during his 2020 campaign where he played right tackle. With elite athleticism and natural pass protecting tools, he made the transition to the left side in 2021, holding down the spot for quarterback CJ Stroud.
One of the most exciting parts of Petit-Frere’s game is his lateral mobility, cutting off speed rushers around the edge but also providing a solid anchor against bull-rushes. Getting to the second level isn’t a problem for Petit-Frere, working well through his blocks and displaying high football IQ. Having succeeded at both the right and left sides, the Giants can feel good about him solving the most problematic position in the trenches.
Oddly, Petit-Frere is being projected as a late first-round or even early second-round pick, but he’s also considered a day one starter who could develop into an elite tackle, making him one of the best value picks in the draft.