New York Giants: Options At Weak Right Tackle Position In The 2019 Offseason

The New York Giants have holes throughout their roster. They have depth and talent at some positions, such as running back and tight end. But at other positions, they lack talent and depth. One of the Giants’ weakest positions is the right tackle position. This is a position the team will need to upgrade this offseason in order to see their offense grow in 2019.

Current Giants:

The Giants’ current starting right tackle is the second-year player out of USC, Chad Wheeler. To start the 2018 season, the Giants had Ereck Flowers starting at right tackle. After constant poor play by Flowers, Wheeler took over the starting job.

Unfortunately for the Giants, Wheeler has not been a huge improvement over Flowers. Anything is an improvement over Flowers, but the Giants were hoping to get more of an upgrade at the position when they put Wheeler in. Chad Wheeler finished the 2018 season with a below average 47.1 grade on Pro Football Focus, ranking 80th in the NFL.

Despite his low season grade in 2018, the Giants could move forward with Wheeler as their starter. Though many Giants fans may disagree with that course of action, the Giants could go through with it because of Wheeler’s age. He is only 24 years old and has plenty of time to develop. As general manager Dave Gettleman has stated before, he does not quit on talent.

If Gettleman does decide to move on from Wheeler, he has a few options to choose from in the 2019 offseason.

Free Agents:

The Giants’ main target in free agency should be Carolina Pathers’ right tackle Daryl Williams. Williams is slated to become a free agent this offseason after suffering an injury and missing the 2018 season. Since Daryl is coming off of an injury, his price tag should be reduced. At 27 years old, Williams would be a great piece of the future for the Giants if they manage to sign him. Williams had a 78.0 Pro Football Focus grade in 2017, third best in the league.

Many fans and reporters alike have speculated that the Giants will be interested in Daryl Williams due to Dave Gettleman’s connection with him. Gettleman was the general manager of the Panthers when Williams was drafted. Since Williams is one of his former draftees, it would make sense if Gettleman wanted to go after him in free agency.

Daryl Williams will likely have a competitive market, so it is no guarantee that the Giants will be able to sign him. If they are unable to sign Williams, there will be other tackles available in free agency.

Ja’Wuan James is another right tackle who will have a competitive market this offseason. James had a 70.7 Pro Football Focus grade in 2018 and was a great player for the Miami Dolphins. James is also only 27 years old, so he too could be a player for the Giants to build around. If the Giants strike out on Williams, James is their next best option.

The Giants could consider a few veterans to start for a year or two if they are unable to secure any younger options. Veteran options include Jared Veldheer, Austin Howard, and Andre Smith.

NFL Draft:

If the Giants are unable to sign a right tackle in free agency, they could look to draft one. Drafting a right tackle would mean having one to be around for the future, rather than overpaying on a veteran for a year or two.

Jawaan Taylor, right tackle out of the University of Florida, will likely be the top right tackle taken in the 2019 draft. He is projected to be a mid-first round draft pick. It is unlikely the Giants select Taylor as they will be picking too high to take him, with more talented players on the board. Expect the Giants to focus on right tackle in the middle rounds of the draft. In rounds 2-4, players such as Dalton Risner, David Edwards, and Andre Dilllard will be options for the Giants.

Dalton Risner is a good run blocker out of Kansas State. He checks in at 6-foot-4, 297 pounds. He began his career as a center in college, but he moved outside after a performing past expectations. Risner is projected to go in rounds 2-3.

David Edwards, the 6’7″, 315 lbs, massive lineman out of Wisconsin is also projected to go in rounds 2-3. Edwards was an exceptional player in 2017, but struggled heavily in 2018. He is a stout run blocker, but will need to improve his pass protection at the professional level.

Andre Dillard is a senior out of Washington State. He weighs in at 300 pounds and stands tall at 6′ 5″. Dillard is an athletic tackle who has the ability to slow down edge rushers. This will be a useful trait at the pro level. However, he is not the strongest lineman and will need to gain some strength to succeed at the next level.

New York Giants: Top Three Positions Of Need in the 2019 Offseason

The New York Giants have won eight of their last twenty-six games. They’re not a good team and have a lot of holes to fill out on the roster. While specific skill positions are filled with quality players – running back and wide receiver – others are in need of support.

Here are three priorities for the New York Giants in 2019:

Right Tackle:

The Giants struck gold last offseason in the NFL draft with their second round selection. Left guard Will Hernandez has already shown he is a great player that will be a building block on the Giants’ offensive line for years to come. The Giants also signed left tackle Nate Solder to a record-breaking contract. These players improved the Giants’ offensive line tremendously. However, the Giants still need help on the right side of the line.

Right guard Jamon Brown was a solid pickup half way through the 2018 season. But his teammate to the right of him struggled all year. Right tackle Chad Wheeler has shown nothing that would indicate he is the Giants’ right tackle of the future. Chad Wheeler had a 47.1 Pro Football Focus grade in 2018, making him the 82nd ranked tackle. In order for the Giants offense to be better next season, they need to make an upgrade at right tackle.

Cornerback:

The New York Giants’ secondary was a major disappointment in 2018.  Janoris Jenkins was not the shutdown cornerback that he used to be, allowing 12.6 yards per reception, 96.6 passer rating, and 6 touchdowns in coverage this season. Second corner B.W. Webb was not much better. He was average, according to Pro Football Focus, earning a grade of 62.6.

Janoris Jenkins has had trade rumors surrounding him for about two years now, and it would not be surprising if general manager Dave Gettleman moved him this offseason. Gettleman likes to give younger players opportunities.

Undrafted rookie Grant Haley showed flashes this season. He could potentially be the Giants’ top corner in 2019 if he continues to develop. He earned an above average PFF grade of 69.3. Another young corner who will be part of the Giant’ future is supplemental draft pick Sam Beal. Beal tore his shoulder this season and did not play a game, but expect to see him play significant snaps next season.

Quarterback:

The Giants have quarterback Eli Manning on the roster, but it is uncertain how much longer he will remain in New York. Manning has not committed to playing next season, and Gettleman has not committed to bringing him back.

Eli Manning is in his fifteenth season. Fans and reporters alike agree that his performance has declined in recent years. Eli was only able to throw for 21 touchdowns this season, despite having fantastic playmakers surrounding him. Pro Football Focus gave Eli a grade of 64.3 and ranked him as the 31st quarterback in the NFL in 2018. Despite this, Eli did throw for 4,299 yards and a 66% completion percentage.

Eli is still a good quarterback, but it is time for the Giants to start looking towards the future. With the quarterback having turned 38 earlier this week, it is evident his time in the NFL is almost up. The Giants need a plan at the position for when Manning is no longer there, and this offseason is a good time to put that plan into place.

 

The New York Giants Offense Has One Major Issue Remaining

As the New York Giants continue to coast through the offseason, one major question remains on the offensive side of the ball. General manager Dave Gettleman addressed the offensive line efficiently, as he snagged left tackle Nate Solder in free agency and drafted guard Will Hernandez in the second-round.

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Here’s what the starting line might look like come September:

LT: Nate Solder

LG: Will Hernandez

C: Brett Jones

RG: Patrick Omameh

RT: Ereck Flowers/Chad Wheeler

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The major question mark is at right tackle, where Flowers and Wheeler will battle it out for the starting job. Flowers is making the transition from left to right, which will require him to learn a new technique and adapt to an entirely different concept. The forth-year lineman struggled immensely at the LT position before being replaced, consistently being overwhelmed on the edge by faster and stronger rushers. His footwork and hand placement was never developed properly. It’s possible Flowers simply doesn’t have the physical tools to blossom into a stating caliber player.

Chad Wheeler on the other hand is going into his second-year as an undrafted free agent. He impressed in the Giants’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017.

Here’s a clip detailing his strengths:

Wheeler starts the play with an immediate double-team assignment alongside D.J. Fluker. They engage the Chiefs’ defensive end well, which eventually becomes a 1v1 match-up against Wheeler.  You can see how the UDFA holds on tight and utilize his hands to keep the defender in-front of him. Running back Orleans Darkwa attacks the left side of the line, which collapses quickly, leaving him no choice but to bolt right into Wheeler’s assignment.

Despite the outcome of the play, Wheeler displayed good strength and balance once he successfully engaged. If he can develop his speed and lateral quickness to contain fast edge rushers, he could beat out Flowers for the vacant right tackle spot.

Dark Horse On The Offensive Line Set To Make Significant Jump In 2018

The New York Giants have upgraded and fortified their offensive line over the course of the offseason.

Adding left tackle Nate Solder and guard Patrick Omameh began the overhaul, and the moving of Ereck Flowers to the right tackle position surely shakes things up even further. Solder, who was considered one of the top lineman options in FA, was signed by the Giants for $62 million over four-years. That’s $15.5 million per-season for the big tackle. Omameh was a optimistic pickup, as he struggled significantly on the Jaguars’ line last season, showing inability in run blocking and mediocrity in pass protection.

The NFL draft presents various intriguing options, ranging from guard Quenton Nelson to Will Hernandez. Both are projected first-round picks with the latter possibly dropping to the second.

But, the Giants have a dark horse on the roster and he will be battling feverishly with Flowers for the starting right tackle job.

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The Dark Horse:

Former undrafted USC lineman Chad Wheeler will have his chance to overtake the floundering Flowers in 2018.

The Giants’ former LT was the only player absent from team OTA’s, which casts a dark cloud over an already murky sky.

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Wheeler presents a solid build for the RT position, standing at 6-foot-7, 306 pounds. His power is his primary strength (pun intended), but his undrafted status shouldn’t fool you. Wheeler was involved in an altercation with the police which saw them fire bean bag rounds at him after attacking an officer. The big offensive lineman was not arrested, but it dampened his draft stock.

Several years later Wheeler is a New York Giant, and he will be fighting for a starting role in the 2018 campaign.

Clearly, Wheeler has a bit of work to do on the offseason, as in this clip he is completely overwhelmed by Washington edge rusher, Ryan Kerrigan.

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Here’s a quality breakdown by Brian Baldinger of Wheeler having success in a combo block alongside D.J. Fluker.

The potential is there for the young lineman, despite his mishaps in one-on-one situations. He has trained all offseason, increasing his weight to 320 pounds from 306 stated above. That’s a 14 pound difference, adding additional strength and grit to his game.

Wheeler only started in five games last season, but with Flowers seeming to fall off the face of the Earth, he will have his opportunity in many more.

Darkhorse Offensive Lineman Could Win Right Tackle Spot For New York Giants

The New York Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman have ensured that former left tackle Ereck Flowers won’t be put to waste. Instead, he will compete for the right tackle position on the offensive line.

At right tackle the Giants don’t have much depth, but there’s one darkhorse lineman that could easily find himself starting come September.

The darkhorse:

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Flowers finished 2017 with awful grades, and his time at left tackle was plagued by breath-taking gasps that came from Eli Manning running for his life.

By the way… That’s MY quarterback. Manning opened up his body to deliver the pass knowing that he was going to take a monstrous hit. He was sacked five times in this game with Flowers allowing three of them.

In 2018, Nate Solder will be protecting Manning’s blind side, but on the right side of the line, Chad Wheeler could end up being the starter.

Wheeler had a solid 2017 when he was activated, allowing zero sacks against four-time Pro Bowler Justin Houston. The Giants went on to win that game against the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime. But, to no avail, former GM Jerry Reese plugged Bobby Hart in at right tackle the next week.

Wheeler was an undrafted free agent out of USC. Several injuries and an encounter with the police negatively impacted his draft stock, seeing him drop out of the entire 2017 NFL draft.

At 6-foot-7 and 306-pounds, Wheeler is a behemoth of a human, and he will certainly be battling for the starting job against Flowers comes spring. Hopefully, he will earn the job and designate Flowers to the bench where he rightfully belongs.