The New York Giants have had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL for years. Former Giants general manager Jerry Reese did not have an eye for offensive line talent.
A prime example of this is the Giants 10th overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, Ereck Flowers. Flowers let up 180 pressures from 2015 to 2018 before being cut midseason by the new general manager, Dave Gettleman.
Dave Gettleman came to the Giants in 2018 and his mission was to rebuild the offensive line. In his second year with the Giants, the offensive line rebuild seems to be complete.
The New Offensive Line:
Left Tackle: Nate Solder
The Giants had issues with Ereck Flowers at left tackle from 2015 to 2017. Finally, during the last offseason, the Giants made a change at the offensive line’s most important position. Dave Gettleman signed Nate Solder to be the highest paid offensive tackle in the NFL in 2018, Gettleman’s first season as general manager of the Giants.
Nate Solder struggled mightily in the first half of the 2018 NFL season. Fortunately, Solder turned it around in the second half of the season. Over the second half of the year, Solder allowed only one sack and 13 total pressures. Solder is the captain on the offensive line. The 31-year-old veteran will need to contribute a few more seasons of the level of play he demonstrated in the second half of 2018 in order to live up to that historic contract.
Left Guard: Will Hernandez
Will Hernandez is one of the most promising young players on the Giants’ roster. The Giants drafted Big Will in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He already looks like a steal of a draft pick who should’ve been selected in the first round.
He made the Pro Football Focus All-Rookie Team for his dependable play. Hernandez earned the league’s second-highest grade for a rookie interior offensive linemen and was only penalized two times across 1,027 snaps.
Center: Jon Halapio
In week two of the 2018 NFL season, the Giants, unfortunately, lost center Jon Halapio to a season-ending leg injury. Halapio was playing solid football at the time he went down. Dave Gettleman himself said that Halapio was playing the best out of anyone on the offensive line before he got injured.
In week one, Jon Halapio had Pro Football Focus’s third-best pass blocking grade (85.2) among centers with at least 50 offensive snaps.
Jon Halapio will likely be the starter in 2019 unless Spencer Pulley is able to outperform him in camp. If Halapio can show that his first week and a half of the 2018 season was not a fluke, he will win the starting job.
Right Guard: Kevin Zeitler
The Giants acquired guard Kevin Zeitler via trade with the Cleveland Browns in the 2019 NFL offseason. The Giants traded their best pass-rusher Olivier Vernon in order to acquire Zeitler. It is never easy to trade away your best pass-rusher, but the Giants got arguably the best offensive lineman on their team in exchange for Vernon.
Kevin Zeitler is one of the best guards in the NFL. He is a highly efficient pass-blocker, allowing only 11 total pressures in 2018. The Giants’ starting right guards in 2018, Patrick Omameh and Jamon Brown, combined for 39 total pressures. Zeitler will be a huge improvement for the Giants in 2019.
Right Tackle: Mike Remmers
After much speculation, the Giants finally signed Mike Remmers on Saturday. Remmers agreed to a one-year deal with the New York Giants worth $2.5 million, with $1 million fully guaranteed and a max value of $4 million through play-time incentives, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source.
Remmers has a strong connection with the Giants’ front office. He used to play for the Panthers when Dave Gettleman was their general manager and he used to play for head coach Pat Shurmur when he was the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings went to the NFC Championship game in 2017 with Mike Remmers at right tackle. He was switched to guard in 2018, suffered an injury and struggled, but returning to his natural position of right tackle with the Giants should lead to better performance.