The New York Giants have a position battle brewing this summer. New general manager Joe Schoen has worked hard to rebuild the team’s offensive line this offseason. A few free agency acquisitions and draft picks later and New York’s offensive line has been totally revamped. But at left guard, there is a question mark. More than one player will be competing for the starting job this summer. A mix of veterans and a rookie are fighting to earn the starting left guard position, and some believe that the rookie could win. Pro Football Focus projects rookie third-round draft pick Joshua Ezeudu as the starting left guard of the New York Giants in 2022.
Shane Lemieux, Max Garcia, and Joshua Ezeudu are the Giants’ options at left guard this year. None of these players are cemented starters just yet as there is a long summer of practices ahead. Lemieux and Garcia are veterans with starts under their belts already. But much intrigue has been brought by third-round pick Joshua Ezeudu.
Could Joshua Ezeudu start at left guard for the Giants?
Rookie offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu was drafted by the New York Giants with the sixty-seventh overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The consensus is that the Giants secured a solid guard prospect in Ezeudu that should step in immediately with a chance to develop into a starter. Pro Football Focus projects that the rookie out of UNC will steal the starting job as early as this season.
In their recent article, “22-man starter projections for all 32 NFL teams,” Pro Football Focus projected the starters on both sides of the ball for the New York Giants. They highlighted the left guard position as “the only spot up front that looks to be up for grabs.” Out of the mix of players, though, PFF believes the rookie will win the job.
Joshua Ezeudu “has the potential and traits to become a starting NFL offensive lineman” according to PFF. The Draft Network concurs, stating, “in year one, Ezeudu should be a versatile reserve but has the upside to develop into a starter by Year Two/Three.” Lance Zierlein of NFL.com is also in agreement, describing Ezeudu as a lineman that “has low-end starter potential with emergency tackle versatility.”
Joshua Ezeudu posted a 83.0 run blocking grade in 2021 (3rd among ACC Guards) per PFF. On tape, Ezeudu has quick feet and a strong upper body that turns him into a people-mover in the running game. Refinement is needed, but do not count Joshua Ezeudu out of the race just yet. With a summer of strong practices, the New York Giants’ third-round pick could find himself in a starting position.