The New York Giants have had one of the worst offensive lines in football over the past five years. The 2021 season displayed nothing short of inadequacy. As a unit, they ranked 30th in pass protection and 21st in run blocking. However, with Dave Gettleman retiring and Joe Judge being relieved of his duties, new management has overhauled the unit to try and solve an evergreen issue.
Investing back into the offensive line:
General manager Joe Schoen immediately began investing in the trenches upon his hiring. He signed former Buffalo Bills IOL John Feliciano, Indianapolis Colts guard Mark Glowinski, and Arizona Cardinals guard Max Garcia to feature as expected starters.
Schoen didn’t stop there. He utilized the 7th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft on Evan Neal, a 6’8″, 345-pound beast from Alabama. Neal is known for his physically impressive frame, containing elite power at the point of attack. While he has some pass protection weaknesses to iron out at the next level, he will be a dominant run blocker in the NFL on Day 1.
After ranking as one of the worst lines in football last year yet again, the Giants are expected to take a step forward, courtesy of Andrew Thomas and his remarkable development.
PFF ranked the Giants’ offensive line 18th ahead of training camp, indicating an improvement from last season.
18. New York Giants
Projected starting lineup
LT: Andrew Thomas
LG: Shane Lemieux
C: Jon Feliciano
RG: Mark Glowinski
RT: Evan Neal
That one good tackle is former fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas, although Evan Neal is a promising rookie. Thomas’ abysmal rookie season is still ingrained in a lot of minds, but many missed him become one of the best pass-protecting tackles in the league last year. He allowed only 18 pressures on 517 pass-blocking snaps after giving up 57 as a rookie.
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The Giants are getting better, but slowly:
Thomas stood out as the primary bright spot for the Giants’ offense last season. He allowed just two sacks and 18 total pressures over 517 pass-blocking snaps. Having allowed 57 pressures and 10 sacks as a rookie, it is astounding to see his growth despite constant turnover in the coaching staff.
On the right side, Neal is expected to provide a huge increase in talent over Nate Solder, who was a walking turnstile in 2021. Solder gave up six sacks and 36 total pressures in his 10th season as a professional. The Giants had no choice but to move on, paying him $4 million in a void year this upcoming season.
On paper, the line seems to be much improved, but it takes time to develop chemistry and familiarity. At the very least, the Giants expect to have a solid running game, opening up the offense for Saquon Barkley and playmakers at the line of scrimmage.