With the 22nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select… Will Hernendez out of UTEP!
Wait, what? Don’t the Giants have the 2nd pick? Well, since Cleveland finally took the right player, the Giants have a few options at No. 2.
Being the fact that there is no sure fire QB in this draft, they can get very creative. Taking a running back at No. 2 is still a bit too high especially with an OL that has not produced over the past few years.
The Giants ranked 26th last season in the rushing department, averaging a paltry 96.8 YPG and ranked 31st in total offense with a measly 15.4 points per game with a future Hall of Fame QB. The priority for the organization is to address the offensive line through the NFL draft, or in the words of Dave Gettleman, grab some “hog mollies.”
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This is where the UTEP standout comes into play. The second pick is generally too high to pick a guard, which attests to Quenton Nelson being an option only in a potential trade down situation. The Giants can trade with a quarterback desperate Bills team who own multiple first-rounds picks. By acquiring Buffalo’s #12 and #22 picks, the Giants can take Hernendez at #22, which would ultimately improve the offensive line immedietly.
How have the Giants addressed the OL so far?
Signing Nate Solder to a monster $62 Million deal was a good start for the new regime in rebuilding a porous line. Puzzle pieces still need to be found to replace Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg at guard and center, but solving the swinging door that’s Ereck Flowers at left tackle is a big positive.
Patrick Omameh can be a solid guard, but will not be able to handle the likes of a Fletcher Cox, Aaron Donald or Jonathan Allen, all of which the Giants have to face in 2018. Hernendez has prototypical NFL guard size at 6’-foot-2, 348 lbs. His arms measure a little short at 32’ and hands are a bit small, however, that shouldn’t be much of an issue playing at the guard position.
Adding a stud run blocker in which NFL scout Todd McShay said: “is a powerful run-blocker and improving in pass-protection”, will give the Giants a lock-down left side of the line and potentially add years onto Eli’s career. It will make any RB they draft a better player and improve the line as a whole.
He’s well built, athletic, mean – all attributes Gettleman looks for in his “hog mollies.” These are the players that win you games. It isn’t a sexy pick by any means, but just ask Dallas how they like Zach Martin and Tyron Smith.
Does Hernandez posses weaknesses? Absolutely, but every player comes with some negative traits. Pat Schurmur is a wizard with talented offensive players, and adding some much needed protection for his quarterback will ultimately improve the offense as a whole.
Be smart Big Blue, the last time the New York Football Giants had a stable offensive line they won the Super Bowl! It’s not sexy, but it wins you games.