What are the New York Giants doing to solve the center problem?

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Nick Gates
LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 22: Nick Gates #65 of the New York Giants lines up against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedExField on December 22, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The New York Giants have one spot that needs filling; what are they doing to solve it?

Everybody believed the Giants would allocate draft capital toward the center position, but GM Dave Gettleman and Hc Joe Judge turned the other cheek toward a spot that has lacked talent in recent years.

Jon Halapio has been the Giants’ center of choice the past few seasons, despite breaking his leg and suffering a torn Achilles tendon in back-to-back seasons. Gettleman was confident that he would return to full health in 2020, stating:

“Halapio is coming back, hopefully he’ll be ready to go and recovered from the Achilles by June. We’re just going to keep working at it,” general manager Dave Gettleman said during a conference several weeks ago.

This is a good sign for a team who’s fall-back option is Spencer Pulley, a journeyman center who cannot be trusted as a starter. However, Halapio isn’t an elite player either; some might even argue he just barely scratches average. Finding a better offensive lineman to fill the void would likely be in the best interest of the team, which is where former UDFA Nick Gates and fifth-round draft pick from 2020 Shane Lemieux comes into play.

“I understood that this game is all about versatility,” Lemieux said on a Zoom interview, accordoing to Giants.com. “I think that me getting good at all three interior positions is going to benefit me well in the future. I don’t really have a position. I just want to be ready whenever I get in, to be ready to play whatever coach asks me to.

“I think I’m an offensive lineman, that’s what I’m coming in as. That’s what I have been playing, I’m a football player. I’m a football player that plays offensive line. No matter where the coaches want to put me to help the team, that’s where I’m going to go.”

Gates has reportedly been taking snaps under center the past few months in preparation for a potential move to the inside, and Lemieux is also capable of making the transition. With Halapio and Pulley expected to return next season, a competition battle will likely be the result of management’s lack of injection into the position.

Having four players battling it out at the position, the Giants can be confident the winner will be at the very least serviceable. An added benefit is they will have significant depth scattered across the offensive line.