Two guards that the Giants can target in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft

zion johnson, giants

The New York Giants are preparing to overhaul this offense this offseason. The hirings of head coach Brian Daboll (former Bills offensive coordinator) and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka (former Chiefs QB coach) were the first steps in this makeover. The next step for GM Joe Shoen and company should be to rebuild the offensive line.

The Giants’ offensive line has been one of the worst in the NFL for years. Former general manager Dave Gettleman promised to fix this problem but ultimately failed to deliver. Joe Schoen, however, has no choice but to solve this dilemma. The 2022 NFL Draft might be the perfect opportunity for Schoen to find new offensive line talent.

In the first round of this year’s draft, most analysts and fans are projecting the Giants to draft an offensive tackle. Andrew Thomas broke out in 2021 as the team’s left tackle, but an anchor is needed on the right side. If a tackle is the main target in round one, then the Giants should turn their attention to some talented offensive guards in round two.

Zion Johnson – OG, Boston College

Zion Johnson out of Boston College is an intriguing name that the Giants should consider in this year’s draft. Johnson is a top offensive line talent that is projected to be an early second-round pick in April.

According to Pro Football Focus, Zion Johnson allowed only six pressures in pass protection in 2021. He also posted an 84.4 overall PFF Grade, ranking second in the ACC. Johnson was one of the top talents in attendance of this year’s Senior Bowl and he is PFF’s third-ranked interior offensive lineman in this year’s draft.

Zion Johnson has the ideal build to play guard in the NFL. PFF describes Johnson’s frame as being “built in a lab for a guard… He has a loaded-up lower half.” The Draft Network projects Zion Johnson as a starting guard in a zone run scheme which should fall in line with the needs of Brian Daboll’s offensive scheme with the Giants.

Darian Kinnard – OT, Kentucky

Another prospect for the Giants to consider is an offensive tackle that could move to the interior at the next level. Darian Kinnard played right tackle for Kentucky but is projected as a guard in the NFL. The Draft Network explains that Kinnard has “the kind of functional power necessary to be a tremendous asset in the ground game,” making him a better fit at offensive guard.

PFF statistics show that Darian Kinnard was a rock in pass protection. He allowed pressure on only 2% of snaps with screens, play-action and RPOs removed among 2022 NFL Draft OTs. Despite this TDN, projects Kinnard as a starting guard in a play-action pass-heavy offense with a scheme versatile in the run game.

“If you’re willing to work with him through the growing pains of a potential transition inside and are ready to brush up on some of his hand usage, you could be walking away with a quality, impact starter at guard.” – Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network

The New York Giants likely need to upgrade both offensive guard positions this offseason. The Giants are looking to build their team more through the draft than free agency going forward. In the middle rounds of the NFL Draft is where the Giants should look to find their next starters on the interior.

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