The Giants are facing a potential problem with struggling offensive tackle

Sep 21, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) attempts to run past New York Giants offensive tackle Evan Neal (73) in the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants‘ offensive line is under intense scrutiny heading into the 2024 season. After ranking last in pass protection last year, there is considerable pressure on the unit to improve significantly.

Urgent Need for Improvement in the Giants’ Offensive Line

The line’s inability to maintain health and consistency has been a major concern, impacting the team’s overall performance. Among the linemen, Evan Neal, a top 10 draft pick from two years ago, has notably struggled with his development and health.

Evan Neal’s Uncertain Future and Potential Line Adjustments

Evan Neal’s progression has been disappointing for the Giants. Currently 23, Neal has regressed rather than improved, compounded by several injuries, one of which is keeping him out of practice currently. Head coach Brian Daboll has indicated that Neal will not participate in this week’s practices, and expectations for his return before training camp are low. Last season, Neal played 460 snaps but was responsible for two sacks and 29 pressures, earning seven penalties, highlighting his challenges on the field.

Jan 8, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants offensive tackle Evan Neal (73) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants have responded by signing Jermaine Eluemunor to a two-year, $14 million contract this offseason. Eluemunor, who is versatile across the offensive line, notably at right tackle, has significantly more experience than Neal and has posted comparable statistics over a greater number of snaps. Given Neal’s ongoing struggles, there is a strong possibility he could be shifted to guard or even face losing his starting role altogether if he cannot demonstrate improvement quickly.

The organization’s patience is wearing thin as they aim to provide quarterback Daniel Jones, who commands a $40 million annual salary, with a solid and reliable offensive line.

This season is crucial for Jones, and the line’s performance could very well determine his future with the team. The front office’s willingness to make tough decisions regarding Neal will be pivotal in their efforts to stabilize the line and enhance their competitive edge. If Neal continues to underperform, the Giants are prepared to adjust their strategy, potentially ushering in new talent to secure the line’s effectiveness and protect their quarterback investment.

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