The New York Giants have a position battle brewing at left guard after spending one of their third-round picks on a new offensive lineman out of North Carolina. Acquiring Joshua Ezeudu should inject more talent into the position. Big Blue signed Pro Bowl alternate Max Garcia this off-season as well to compete with a Shane Lemieux, who is coming off a season on injured reserve after partially tearing his patellar tendon during training camp.
After selecting Evan Neal 7th overall to fill the right tackle spot, the Giants are confident they have plenty of talent to build a competent OL.
New York Giants have a position battle brewing at left guard:
Back in 2020, the Giants featured Shane Lemieux at left guard over 484 snaps. He posted one of the worst pass-blocking grades in football at 16.9, per PFF. He gave up five sacks, six quarterback hits, and 14 hurries to go with three penalties. Overall, Lemieux was arguably the worst guard in football, but he didn’t get an opportunity to take a step forward in 2021 due to injury.
The Giants will allow them to compete for the starting job this upcoming off-season, but they added plenty of talent to push him. The odds are stacked against him, but Shane will have a fair opportunity to earn reps.
Max Garcia spent last season with the Arizona Cardinals, playing in 864 snaps, most of which came at right guard and center. He spent 565 steps at RG and 297 at C, mostly playing at an average level. He allowed five sacks and 15 QB hurries, but his versatility is valuable for the Giants. In fact, Garcia started the season in tremendous form playing both RG and C, but he fell off gradually as the season continued, specifically in the pass-blocking department.
Despite being a Pro Bowl alternate, Garcia is a fringe starter moving forward, or at least that’s what he should be considered. Garcia‘s best season came at left guard back in 2016 with the Denver Broncos when he allowed four sacks and 22 hurries over 1,074 snaps. Given that LG is his best position, the Giants are hoping they can get maximum value out of him for a season.
The Giants drafted Joshua Ezeudu with the 67th overall pick on Friday night, injecting even more talent at left guard. Ezeudu has great size at 6’4″ and 308 pounds, but he has plenty of developmental needs. Mainly, he lacks explosiveness at contact and has sloppy hand placements at times, all of which are coachable. However, Ezeudu features plus athleticism and great footwork, containing the ability to reset and mirror any pass rush moves.
With the right coaching, Ezeudu can easily become a good starter for the Giants at left guard, which is likely what they’re hoping given the position battle that is brewing. In addition, the flexible lineman has experience at multiple positions, including tackle, giving him the versatility to move around if the Giants need him to supplement any injury concerns.