The Giants’ offensive line remains a big concern entering Week 1

New York Giants, NYG, Giants, Evan Neal, Mark Glowinski
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants cut down their roster to 53 men this week, and while they have made many improvements to their roster this offseason, one unit on offense is still a major concern.

The offensive has been an issue for Big Blue throughout the entirety of the Daniel Jones era. While they do have arguably the best left tackle in football in Andrew Thomas, the group’s other positions have some questions that need answers.

The Giants’ Week 1 projected starting offensive line

The listed starters on the offensive line in the depth chart read as follows:

  • LT – Andrew Thomas
  • LG – Ben Bredeson
  • C – John Michael Schmitz
  • RG – Mark Glowinski
  • RT – Evan Neal

The biggest question mark of the group is undoubtedly RT Evan Neal, the Giants’ seventh overall pick from the 2022 draft. Neal struggled mightily last season, but this offseason worked to find a new stance that would help improve his overall performance at the position.

Giants fans did not get to see a whole lot of Neal during the preseason, as a concussion left him out of the first game, but he did play the entire first half of their second game. However, with still a lot to prove in this league, Neal is going to have to put on a strong showing this season not only for his long-term career outlook but for the Giants’ offensive line to be strong enough for their star quarterback to go to work in 2023.

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Lack of depth is a grave concern

The lack of overall depth at the guard positions is certainly a concern for New York. Behind Bredeson and Glowinski are Shane Lemieux and Joshua Ezeudu. Jones’ pocket protection is unlikely to be secure, so he may be forced to resort to the ground game more than expected.

A rising star on the offensive line

Despite the overall weakness of their offensive line, there is one young player who has plenty of upside that could help buy Jones some extra time in the pocket. John Michael Schmitz, the team’s starting center who was taken in the second round of this year’s draft, has looked excellent throughout the summer.

A first-team All-American at Minnesota, Schmitz has the makings of quickly becoming a very solid center for the Giants, though relying on a rookie lineman has its risks as they have to adjust to facing NFL talent. If Schmitz translates his string camp performance to the regular season, that would be massive for a Giants team that is looking for any kind of insurance at the line.

The Giants have an exciting group of talent across the 53-man roster this season, but the offensive line must improve in order to get the best out of this team.

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