New York Giants: 3 interior offensive lineman to target in round 4

new york giants, trey smith

The New York Giants are taking a risky approach at right guard, as they cut Kevin Zeitler to save cash this off-season. They reallocated the money toward wide receiver Kenny Golladay, interior lineman Leonard Williams, and cornerback Adoree Jackson, but they didn’t manage to solve the vacant RG spot they left behind.

Most believed the Giants would address the position in the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL draft, but instead, they elected to execute a few trade backs and add wide receiver Kadarius Toney, edge rusher Azeez Ojulari, and cornerback Aaron Robinson out of UCF.

A string of offensive guards were taken at the end of the third round, putting the Giants in a peculiar position. They need to find a starting-caliber player in the fourth round, as their next selections come in the sixth. General manager Dave Gettleman did state that there were two linemen who were targeted earlier in the draft, but both were taken before they reached the Giants. It is clear they feel a bit more confident they fans do about the interior of their offensive line, but they want to add more competition.

Let’s take a look at a few remaining options that could fit the bill for Big Blue.

Three offensive linemen for the New York Giants to target in the 4th round:

1.) Trey Smith

One of the bigger names left on the board is Tennessee guard Trey Smith, who stands at 6’6″ and 321 pounds. Smith plays in a phone booth, utilizing below-average speed and above-average power to open up running lanes as an explosive blocker. He is a nasty player that fits the “hog mollie” role that Gettleman likes to find in the trenches. However, Smith is not the type of player you want if you’re running a scheme with pulling guards and agile interior lineman; Smith will simply not be able to get into space properly.

Smith has also dealt with blood clots the past few years, another medical issue that could see him drop even further. If the Giants wanted to take a chance on him, he will be great in power and inside zone scheme, but anything requiring him to move might be a bit optimistic.

2.) Deonte Brown

Another big boy is Deonte Brown from Alabama, who stands at 6’3″ and 344 pounds. Brown is a meatball who underwhelms with his mobility, similarly to Trey Smith. He takes up a lot of space in the interior, operating with incredible power from a standstill position. Again, he’s another player that would fit a power scheme, but the Giants love their agile guards, which is the main reason that Shane Lemieux earned so much playing time last year.

Unless the Giants are thinking about shaking up their schematics, I don’t believe Brown fits their mold quite well.

3.) Jaylon Moore

One player that stands out to me as a great option for the Giants is Jaylon Moore out of Western Michigan. Despite playing tackle in college, he projects as an interior lineman based on his below-average arm length. He is far more agile than Smith or Brown, distributing the Giants, a player who can drag across the line of scrimmage and offer more in that specific category. At 6’4″ and 311 pounds, Moore has excellent balance and moves well in pass protection. While the Giants don’t have any connections to Western Michigan, he’s a player that makes sense given his athletic attributes.

New York Giants: Potential draft replacements for Kevin Zeitler

new york giants, wyatt davis

The New York Giants are actively clearing cap space this week. They cut two veterans, Golden Tate and David Mayo, to clear over $8 million in cap space. But the Giants’ front office is not done yet. Now, there are reports that the Giants are looking to move on from guard Kevin Zeitler.

According to Jason La Canfora, the Giants are trying to move Kevin Zeitler and via trade due to his high salary cap hit. However, if they cannot find a trade partner, New York will likely release their starting right guard to free agency. Cutting/trading Zeitler would clear around $12 million in cap space for the Giants.

Of course, it is still possible for Zeitler to return to New York. The Giants could restructure or extend Kevin to clear cap space and keep him around simultaneously. But if the team truly does decide to move on from the 31-year-old veteran, they will need to find his replacement. There will be a number of free-agent offensive guards on the market this month, but looking ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft, there will also be a prime list of targets for the Giants to consider in April.

2021 NFL Draft offensive guards for the Giants to target

It would be difficult for the Giants to replace Kevin Zeitler’s consistency on their offensive line. He let up only 28 pressures in the 2020 season and was the Giants’ best offensive lineman. Yet, there are some intriguing prospects that could develop into quality starters for the Giants in this year’s draft.

Wyatt Davis

The top offensive guard for the Giants to target is a player that has drawn comparisons to Kevin Zeitler. Right guard Wyatt Davis out of Ohio State is unlikely to be there for the Giants in the second round. However, if he is there, New York would hit a home run by selecting him. Davis is a player the Giants could even consider trading up to select at the end of round one if they need to replace Zeitler.

Wyatt Davis totaled 865 pass-block snaps in his career at Ohio State. On those snaps, Davis allowed only 4 sacks and 1 quarterback hit (PFF). He is a phenomenal pass protector and a mauler in the run game. Davis could start instantly on the Giants’ offensive line.

Landon Dickerson

Joe Judge loves versatility. Alabama offensive lineman Landon Dickerson is as versatile as they come. While he might be listed as a center, Dickerson is an option for the Giants because he played multiple positions in college. Dickerson logged snaps at every position on the offensive line during his time at Alabama. He played the majority of his snaps at center, but did play over 200 snaps at right guard in 2019 and could make the transition back there in the pros.

Unfortunately, Landon Dickerson suffered a torn ACL last season. This does make him a risky selection early in the draft. But if he is able to recover from this injury, odds are, Dickerson will be a high-quality NFL offensive lineman.

Deonte Brown

Another Alabama product could be an intriguing option at offensive guard for the Giants in this year’s draft. Deonte Brown played primarily left guard for Alabama in 2020, but he did play over 500 snaps at right guard in 2019. Brown has demonstrated the ability to play on either side of the center.

Brown is the definition of a hog molly. He’s humungous at 6 feet 4 inches, 350 pounds. Deonte Brown is a brawler that wins with brute force. He never surrendered a sack in his three-year collegiate career and has plenty of power out of his stance. While he might not be the most refined prospect, Deonte Brown is a player the Giants could consider in the middle rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.