The Giants have confidence in standout rookie OL

New York Giants running back Eric Gray (20) celebrates his rushing touchdown  with center John Michael Schmitz Jr. (61) and wide receiver Jalin Hyatt (84) during the first half against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have a newcomer on the offensive line who has quickly earned a role in the starting lineup. Rookie center John Michael Schmitz has quickly grasped the starting job and will open Week 1 in the middle of the Giants’ offensive line. The second-round draft pick has quickly earned the confidence of the coaching staff and front office as he prepares to make his regular-season debut next weekend.

The Giants have something special in John Michael Schmitz

New York had big expectations for Schmitz upon selecting him in the second round of this year’s draft. Schmitz was viewed as a long-term answer to Big Blue’s long-standing issues at the center position. After shockingly falling out of the first round, Schmitz landed in the Giants’ lap in Round 2, finally giving them the answer to their massive question in the middle of the offensive line.

In his debut preseason performance, Schmitz allowed zero pressures on 19 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Schmitz was PFF’s highest-graded center in college football in 2022, posting a 92.4 overall grade.

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Schmitz is being challenged on a daily basis

When discussing his team’s new rookie center, Giants general manager Joe Schoen pointed out that lining up across from All-Pro DT Dexter Lawrence in practice has made the rookie challenged  “more than anybody on a daily basis.”

Lawrence recently offered high praise for Schmitz, praising the “animal” within the rookie.

“Either you have that animal in you or you don’t,” Lawrence told Pat Leonard of the Daily News. “And I think he has that in him.”

New York’s coaching staff, players, and front office alike are all bullish on their rookie center who has continued to impress throughout the summer. Entering Week 1, expectations are high for Schmitz as he will take over as QB Daniel Jones’ fifth Week 1 starting center in as many seasons. The Giants are confident that he will maintain that role for years to come.