New York Giants: Evaluating each starting offensive lineman’s performance in final pre-season game

new york giants, daniel jones

The New York Giants might’ve walked away from their final preseason game of the off-season with more questions than answers. The starting offense was without several key playmakers, including Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Saquon Barkley, and Kyle Rudolph. With that being the case, quarterback Daniel Jones once again operated with less than stellar starting talent, but it was the offensive line that put him in harm’s way more often than not.

With the OL being the biggest concern, it was disappointing to see several poor performances that led to Jones either running from pass rushers or being thrown to the ground. There were some positives in the trenches, but two glaring weaknesses at tackle stand out.

Evaluating each starting offensive lineman in New York Giants’ final pre-season game:

LT: Andrew Thomas

Most entered Sunday’s game against the Patriots with a common belief, Andrew Thomas had taken a step forward this off-season. While some might stand by that assessment, Thomas was completely destroyed in pass protection, allowing a sack, a quarterback hit, one QB hurry, and three pressures over 39 snaps. Altogether, Thomas looked choppy and hesitant with his technique, indicating he was trying to stay square for as long as possible before kicking out to the edge.

“Started off a little slow. [There are] some things I’ve gotta improve on: hand placement, staying wide on my set to [create] the depth of the pocket. I’m confident. I’ve made improvements, but there’s still things I need to work on.”
This was not the encouraging performance we wanted to see from Thomas heading into the regular season, especially as Von Miller waits for him against Denver. Hopefully, he learns a thing or two and bounces back in a strong way, as most Giants fans are trembling in fear.

LG: Ted Larsen

With Shane Lemieux still sidelines, the Giants rolled with Ted Larsen at left guard to start the game. Larsen allowed a sack, QB hurry, and two pressures over 39 snaps. The 34-year-old guard will likely be supplemented by Lemieux in Week 1, but gaining essential chemistry during the preseason is necessary for positive growth. The Giants can’t possibly rely on Larsen as a starting guard, so this evaluation views him as a depth piece and nothing more.

C: Nick Gates

While the negative performances undoubtedly littered the field, center Nick Gates had a solid outing, dominating as a run blocker primarily. Per PFF, Gates was hit with two QB hurries and two pressures recorded, but he looked solid nonetheless.

Gates is one of the more consistent linemen for the Giants, and they expect him to lock down the center role for the 2021 season. Gates improved as the 2020 campaign went on, so I expect something similar moving forward as the regular season is just two weeks away.

RG: Will Hernandez

Of all the offensive linemen for the Giants on Sunday, Will Hernandez looked the best. He earned an 87 overall grade, per PFF, declining to give up a sack, QB hit, or pressure. Overall, he was the best looking lineman for the Giants and would’ve been for most teams. You never want to hear an offensive lineman’s name too often during a contest, and Hernandez was essentially a ghost. Putting together a few performances like this will get the coaching staff excited, but unless the rest of the OL can take a developmental step forward, they’ll once again be pulling Daniel Jones under pressure.

RT: Nate Solder/Matt Peart

Nate Solder enjoyed 20 snaps at right tackle in the loss to the Patriots, and during that time, he allowed a sack and pressure. While he served adequately as a run blocker, this was Solder’s first action of the preseason, and he was always going to experience a few bumpy snaps.

Overall, the right tackle spot is currently enjoying a position battle between Solder and the Peart. At this point, I would give Peart the slightest advantage, having allowed one QB hit and pressure over 32 snaps. The Giants would prefer to have their youngsters starting a tackle come Week 1, but they need to be comfortable with the idea that Daniel Jones may be under a bit of pressure at times.

New York Giants: Matt Peart needs to impress in Sunday’s preseason finale

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants offensive line has been a problem for years. If the Giants do not solve this problem, they are putting their entire 2021 season at risk. Offensive line play is important and a bad offensive line could spoil an entire season. The Giants have question marks all over the offensive line, but right tackle Matt Peart might be the biggest question mark in the unit.

The Giants drafted Matt Peart in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He saw limited playing time as a rookie, taking the field for only 150 snaps. Peart impressed the coaching staff in his small sample size, though, and was projected to be the starter this season. After dealing with a back injury all offseason, Matt Peart was activated off the PUP list a few weeks ago and returned to the lineup.

Matt Peart’s return to the lineup has been a bit underwhelming. The second-year tackle out of UConn struggled in his first preseason action against the Jets two weeks ago and he has struggled to consistently perform at a high level in practice. New York’s last preseason game will take place this Sunday and head coach Joe Judge plans to give the starters plenty of playing time. Matt Peart needs to impress in this year’s preseason finale so the team can feel confident in him as a starter in the regular season.

Matt Peart in a crucial preseason finale

The New York Giants play the New England Patriots on Sunday in the final week of the preseason. This is the last chance for any roster bubble players to solidify a spot with the team and for fringe starters to secure their place in the opening lineup.

Right tackle Matt Peart is one of those players on the Giants looking to solidify his place with the first team this week. The Giants have a lowkey competition ongoing at right tackle. Veteran tackle Nate Solder has reportedly had a solid training camp. The Giants expect Solder to be their swing tackle and their backup for both left and right tackle. But if Matt Peart struggles on Sunday the way he did in Preseason Week One, Nate Solder could push for the starting position.

Matt Peart has only played 11 snaps this preseason. But in that small snap count, Peart was beaten in pass protection and let up a sack on a crucial third down. Combine that underwhelming performance with some struggles in practice, and some fans are calling for Nate Solder to be placed into the starting lineup.

Sunday’s preseason finale will be the last moment that the Giants’ coaching staff gets to evaluate their roster before the final wave of cuts. The team will also have to finalize its starting lineup within the next two weeks. With an impressive performance on Sunday, Matt Peart can give the Giants confidence in him as the starting right tackle entering the regular season.

Giants’ Matt Peart gunning for starting job, but it boils down to one category

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants have an unresolved position at right tackle, with second-year player Matt Peart and veteran Nate Solder expected to battle it out for the starting job.

Peart, who enjoyed 150 total snaps last year on the offensive line is looking to take a step forward in his progression. He worked diligently this off-season to lean out and add more muscle mass, helping him physically. However, everything boils down to the fundamentals at some point. If Peart can approve his pass-blocking snaps and technique, he could find himself starting in 2021 opposite Andrew Thomas, the fourth overall pick last year. Peart earned a 46.6 pass-blocking grade in 2020, per PFF.

“I’m just happy to be out there,” Peart said on Tuesday. “Like I said, every day is a new opportunity to work on our craft and get better. I just think of it as a blessing now to be able to be out here, just to be with my brothers, to be with the family again. It just felt good to be with my guys.”

Head coach Joe Judge spoke highly of Peart, who showed up to work and put his best foot forward despite negative variables impacting his season. The University of Connecticut product contracted COVID-19, which hurt his stamina and set him back during the second half of the year.

“What we saw last year was competitiveness, very coachable player and daily improvement. Obviously, he showed up. The first action he got last year was versus Washington in that first game we had. It was kind of on short notice. He jumped on in there, we threw him in there on the edge and he held up pretty well for us. And as we went forward, he gave us confidence to mix him through and we had a three-tackle rotation, and he kept getting better week by week,” Judge said. “He had a setback with injury at the end of last year that kind of took a little playing time away from him because he couldn’t go out there and give 100 percent, but we had confidence in him every game last year to put him out there when he was healthy.”

The Giants’ confidence in him at such an early point his career brews optimism, and his off-season work should only boost their evaluation.
When asked how he spent the off-season improving, Peart mentioned his increase in physical size and athleticism.

“I probably just leaned up a little more, got more muscle mass, cut more fat. But like I said, grinding the offseason program, getting bigger and stronger.”

If the Giants find themselves with two sophomore tackles starting and playing at an adequate level, they will be in good shape financially. Having both starting tackles on a rookie contract allows the team to spend elsewhere, giving them a nice cushion in the salary category. Depending on how Peart performs during the preseason, there’s a great chance he earns the first crack at the starting job come Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. However, I wouldn’t rule out Solder giving him a run for his money.

New York Giants: Matt Peart makes it off PUP list, will return to practice

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants are concerned with an injury to Shane Lemieux at the moment, but a silver lining despite the current situation is that one key member of the offensive line should be coming back from the PUP list and ready to go next practice at training camp.

That player is Matt Peart, who is likely coming into this season as the starting right tackle after spending some limited time there in 2020. That, of course, was originally because starting tackle Nate Solder opted out of the season.

It played a part in the first year tackle Peart playing 11 games last season, while also competing with higher draft pick Andrew Thomas after Thomas had a generally bad start and was benched in week 6 for being late for a meeting.

However, Peart’s offseason progress in 2021 was interrupted when he entered training camp on the physically unable to perform list with a back problem.

Right now, Peart seems like the likely starter at right tackle but is in an unofficial position battle with Nate Solder. Solder is back with the Giants after taking a reduced contract and, while he hasn’t played in a long time and didn’t show much promise during his time on the field as a Giant, has been confident about his physical ability even at 33 years old.

Despite that public facing confidence, many in the fanbase have written Solder off and written Peart in as the likely starter at the position just because of Solder’s age and his low performance as one of the worst starting tackles in the league when he was active with the Giants.

We’ll get to see Peart in action at training camp soon now that his back problem is over with, and that may very well give evidence one way or the other towards his locking up the starting role.

New York Giants: Is Matt Peart this real deal at right tackle?

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants have a competition battle brewing at right tackle, but the expectation is that veteran Nate Solder will push for the starting job. Solder, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, is looking to make a heroic return to form after struggling during the 2019 season.

Solder allowed 11 sacks, 36 hurries, and 56 pressures, per PFF, showcasing one of his worst performances to date. However, a year off from football might have benefitted his mindset, which could lead to an improved 2021 season. While we can remain optimistic, Solder has a big challenge ahead of him, dethroning Matt Peart at right tackle; a second-year player out of the University of Connecticut vying for the starting gig.

Peart had himself an adequate rookie season, despite several factors working against him. Ranging from the loss of preseason as a result of Covid and the transition to a new coaching staff, Peart didn’t exactly have an ideal situation to help him adapt to the NFL.

Listed at 6’7” and 301 pounds, the sophomore tackle undoubtedly added size to his frame this off-season to help as a force in the running game. Improving his strength was one of his biggest priorities, and it seemed as if he accomplished just that over the past few months.

According to Patricia Traina of SI, Matt Peart looked to improve one of his more prevalent deficiencies, adding more strength to his frame:

He also needed to get stronger to improve his anchor against stronger opponents seeking to put him on roller skates. Again, this seems to be something Peart did address as he appeared to be bulkier in the upper body.

Last season, the 24-year-old tackle allowed 2.0 sacks, five hurries, and nine pressures over 150 offensive snaps. He was far more efficient in run blocking but did post a few solid pass blocking performances over a smaller sample size. The maximum amount of pass-blocking snaps he experienced was 14 against Baltimore in Week 16, in which he allowed a sack and two pressures.

However, with more muscle mass and a year of experience under his belt, Peart is expected to take a sufficient developmental leap. With quick feet and the ability to reach the second level, running back Saquon Barkley will benefit tremendously from his qualities, but his pass blocking is where things need to improve drastically.

Ultimately, Peart and Solder offer different qualities, as the traditional left tackle (only played right tackle during his rookie season back in 2011) is a more proficient blocker in the passing game, whereas Peart appears to dominate in run blocking. Depending on the Giants’ scheme, we could see a rotational approach at right tackle to start the season, and if Peart takes the jump we anticipate, he could end up starting sooner rather than later.

New York Giants should roll into 2021 season with young starting offensive tackle duo

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart

The New York Giants tried their hardest to rebuild their offensive line last offseason. They drafted three hog mollies in the 2020 NFL Draft, including offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the first round. Despite these efforts, the Giants’ offensive line was still one of the worst in the league last season.

The New York Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below.

Entering 2021, the team has not made many positive changes to the line to improve the unit. They cut their best lineman, veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler, and failed to replace him. Not a single offensive lineman was drafted by the Giants in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the only lineman they signed in free agency was a replacement-level starter in Zack Fulton. However, the team is getting Nate Solder back this year after he opted out of the 2020 season.

Most fans and analysts have a bleak outlook on the Giants’ offensive line heading into this season. But there are reasons for optimism. In particular, the Giants’ young duo of offensive tackles from the 2020 NFL Draft should bring the team some hope as they potentially take over as starters this year and improve the unit’s performance level.

Andrew Thomas solidified at left tackle

The Giants have a serious breakout candidate for the 2021 NFL season in their second-year left tackle Andrew Thomas. There was a lot to like in Thomas’s 2020 rookie campaign, however, there were plenty of struggles throughout the year that held him back. Andrew Thomas allowed 10 sacks, the most of any tackle in the league last season. But after allowing three or more pressures in eight of the Giants’ first eight games in 2020, Andrew Thomas allowed three or more pressures in only three of the Giants’ last eight games (PFF).

Could Nate Solder return as right tackle?

Andrew Thomas is the Giants’ starting left tackle this season, no question. What has been questioned, though, is who will start at right tackle? Some fans think veteran Nate Solder should return to the starting lineup. The Giants signed Solder to a record-breaking contract in 2018. He started at left tackle for two seasons before opting out last year. Solder never really lived up to the expectations of his contract, giving the Giants below-average play at left tackle for two years.

Solder could potentially bounce back at right tackle this season. But there are factors working against that situation becoming a reality. Firstly, Nate Solder is 33-years-old and has not played football in over a year. Secondly, Nate Solder played right tackle for one year as a rookie in 2011. Since then he has played left tackle every year. Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

Why Matt Peart should be the Giants’ starting right tackle

For these reasons, many fans believe the Giants should roll into 2021 with a young starting offensive tackle duo. That is where second-year tackle Matt Peart comes into the equation. Peart was drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the second tackle that the Giants selected in his class. Peart was limited playing time in 2020, but he did impress when he was on the field.

Matt Peart was meant to finish the season as the Giants’ starting right tackle, but injuries kept him off the field as a starter. Instead, the Giants rotated Peart onto the field to give him some game experience.

According to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post, the New York Giants coaching staff “is high on Matt Peart, who will be given the first shot at the starting right tackle job.” Matt Peart was impressive as a rookie, albeit in a small sample size. Peart played 150 snaps for the Giants’ offense in 2020. Ten of those snaps came in jumbo formations where Peart lined up as a tight end. 37 of those snaps came at left tackle. The other 103 snaps came at right tackle.

Ultimately, New York decided that Matt Peart is their right tackle of the future. Peart posted a 69.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade as a rookie, allowing only 9 pressures on 84 pass-blocking snaps. He did not see any time as a full-time starter in 2020, but that will change in 2021 as Matt Peart assumes the starting right tackle position. The Giants are confident in what they have at both right and left tackle. The young duo of Matt Peart and Andrew Thomas should be the bookends on the Giants’ offensive line for a long time.

New York Giants: One exciting offensive line position battle to keep an eye on

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

There are a few factors that could hold back the New York Giants’ offense in 2021, and the offensive line remains one of them. Management didn’t do much to improve the unit this off-season, after ranking 31st in pass protection last year and allowing 45 sacks on Daniel Jones. Ultimately, there are reasons to be optimistic, considering the team will hold in-person training and have a regular preseason to utilize, but based on the performance of the unit over the past few years, it’s justifiable to be objective.

The Giants feel confident at left tackle, left guard, and center. However, the right guard and right tackle positions remain a question after they released Kevin Zeitler and didn’t do much to help bolster the tackle spot opposite Andrew Thomas. They will be gaining Nate Solder back, but he hasn’t played right tackle since his rookie season in 2011.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look at an exciting position battle at RT between a veteran and youth player.

Right tackle: Nate Solder V Matt Peart

Solder accepted a steep pay cut to stick with the Giants this upcoming season. At the height of his game, he was a solid starter. While traditionally a left tackle, Solder will be asked to compete at RT this upcoming year, but there’s no guarantee he will have a successful experience. At 33 years old, Solder is not only getting older, but he missed last season after opting out due to COVID-19.

Mentally, the veteran has been checked out the past few years, struggling considerably in 2019 on the left side, finishing with a 52.9 overall run-blocking grade and 66.5 pass-blocking grade, per PFF. He had a few stand-out performances, but the second half of the campaign was problematic at best.

Making the transition over to the right side will have its challenges, but Solder luckily has a bit of experience in the category and will compete valiantly for starting reps. I do believe he is a more refined player than Cam Fleming, who the Giants utilized as their primary starter in 2020, but it is impossible to predict what he will offer this upcoming year.

Peart, on the other hand, had himself a few solid performances in his rookie season, but ultimately contracted Covid, which significantly hurt his stamina. The final two games of the season were poor for the rookie out of Connecticut, but he had a few optimistic outings, specifically in the run game.

He only enjoyed 150 offensive snaps, but that essential experience should contribute significantly in his second season. He has added a bit of muscle mass to his frame, and with fantastic tangible’s, including ridiculously long arms and a solid base, he has all the physical traits to be a plus OT at the NFL level.

Again, his strength remains the run, but if he can progress efficiently and pass blocking, the Giants will not only have two starting tackles for the future but two players who are on the rookie contract, allowing them to spend in other areas without having to worry.

This is an exciting position battle to consider and watch during training camp, as the best case scenario for the Giants would be for Peart to win out and prove he can hold it down on the right side of the line. Ultimately, with expected struggles at right guard, that RT position should be even more important.

Why the New York Giants’ offensive line might be better than we think

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart

Many are still concerned about the New York Giants’ offensive line heading into the 2021 season. According to PFF, their OL ranked near dead last in pass-blocking efficiency last year and average in run blocking, indicating upgrades are required. Still, there are a few factors we should consider before claiming this unit has terrible.

In fact, when you look at each individual position, you see plenty of reasons why they struggled in 2020, which is why last year isn’t a good sample size to utilize for their future potential. That is a primary reason why general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge didn’t jump to conclusions and draft an OL with a high draft selection.

Going through each position on the New York Giants offensive line:

LT: Andrew Thomas

When looking at Andrew Thomas objectively, you quickly see that he allowed 10 sacks and 39 hurries last year in his rookie season. He struggled considerably at times, but after Marc Colombo was fired, he saw improvements across the board, especially in pass blocking.

However, Thomas dealt with an ankle sprain injury that required surgery in the off-season, which he suffered during training camp before the regular campaign even began. He battled the entire year with discomfort and having alleviated that pain, he should be 100% in 2021 with even more consistent coaching.

I believe Thomas will have a nice bounce-back season in year two, and having a bit of continuity in the trenches is also beneficial. The same offensive scheme under Jason Garrett, with additional layers added, will be helpful in his progression and harass coach Joe Judge made sure to get him the proper coach to help build strengths and not work backward with Rob Sale.

LG: Will Hernandez

One of the weaker players for the Giants in 2020 was Will Hernandez, who had trouble next to Thomas at left guard. When your left tackle is being beaten inside, a cardinal sin for OTs, it causes problems for everyone around him, including Hernandez, who was hit with one sack and allowed 19 hurries. In addition, Hernandez contracted COVID-19 and never returned the same, battling fatigue for the second half of the season.

Hernandez seems to have lost a bit of weight to fit the Giants’ schematics more appropriately. They like to utilize pulling guards across the formation, and Hernandez should have a bit more agility and quickness to his game this upcoming season, which I think will be an added benefit.

C: Nick Gates

Nick Gates spent his 2020 season adapting to an entirely new position he had never played before. Having played right tackle and right guard previously with the Giants, he made a swift transition to the interior, getting better as the season progressed. However, it was only fair to give him time to learn the ropes at his new position, and he ended up being one of the stronger points on the line to close the campaign. 2021 should offer a far more consistent season with more continuity around him.

RG: Shane Lemieux/Zach Fulton

The real problem is right guard, a position the Giants didn’t address in the draft after cutting Kevin Zeitler to leave a void. They currently have Shane Lemieux and Zach Fulton as their two options, and while there’s reason to believe that Lemieux can develop adequately, there’s not enough proof to justify him being the only option. Without a preseason last year or in-person training, Lemieux did not get the proper coaching entering the 2020 season. However, with a full off-season of work and a real training camp to get things going, I believe them you will take a step forward, which will prove to be beneficial.

Shane was PFF’s worst graded guard in 2020, but based on the factors that influenced not only him but every other player on the line, we should give him the benefit of the doubt going forward.

RT: Nate Solder/Matt Peart

The right tackle position is another one that might cause confusion for fans. Nate Solder opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, and Matt Peart contracted the virus, which limited his snaps down the stretch and hurt his stamina. I do believe a rotation at RT would be beneficial as they start the new season, allowing them to engage in a position battle. Solder hasn’t played right tackle since his rookie season, and Peart is going into his second year in the NFL, so the Giants are hoping for a nice jump in efficiency.

Ultimately, Matt did show prowess in the run-blocking category but struggled in pass protection. He has the adequate size and strength to be a great option on the right side, but he needs more live reps to get to where he needs to be.

I believe the Giants are higher on Peart than we think, and I see why based on his tangible traits. He’s another player that deserves another opportunity to show he can be an answer instead of a problem at right tackle.

New York Giants: Drafting an offensive tackle should not be a priority

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart

The New York Giants are entering the 2021 NFL Draft with a clear weakness on offense: the offensive line. The Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win-rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. So while the Giants did upgrade Daniel Jones’s weapons in free agency, fans feel like they still desperately need to fix the offensive line in front of him.

Many fans and analysts are predicting that the Giants will prioritize the offensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft. While the Giants should make it a point to add an offensive lineman or two in this year’s draft, they should focus on the interior of the line. New York is set at offensive tackle and should not make it a priority to draft one this year.

Last year, the Giants did make it a priority to draft an offensive tackle. They selected Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, then double-dipped at the position in round three with Matt Peart out of UConn. New York has already invested plenty of assets into its offensive tackles. The Giants feel comfortable rolling into the 2021 season with these two second-year tackles as their starters on each side of the line.

The Giants are confident in Matt Peart

According to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post, the New York Giants coaching staff “is high on Matt Peart, who will be given the first shot at the starting right tackle job.” Matt Peart was impressive as a rookie, albeit in a small sample size.

Peart played 150 snaps for the Giants’ offense in 2020. Ten of those snaps came in jumbo formations where Peart lined up as a tight end. 37 of those snaps came at left tackle. The other 103 snaps came at right tackle. The Giants used Peart in a versatile way and tested him out at varying positions to see where he will fit in their future plans.

Ultimately, New York decided that Matt Peart is their right tackle of the future. Peart posted a 69.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade as a rookie, allowing only 9 pressures on 84 pass-blocking snaps. He did not see any time as a full-time starter in 2020, but that will change in 2021 as Matt Peart assumes the starting right tackle position. The Giants are confident in what they have at both right and left tackle. The young duo of Matt Peart and Andrew Thomas should be the bookends on the Giants’ offensive line for a long time.

So while this is a talented and deep offensive tackle draft class, do not expect to see the Giants reach on an offensive tackle at any point in this year’s draft. They could take one as the best player available if that is how the board falls on draft night. But the Giants are unlikely to make drafting an offensive tackle a priority this year after addressing the position in last year’s draft.

New York Giants could roll into 2021 with an unaltered offensive line

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants are preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft, which takes place in just two weeks. The Giants did a tremendous job this offseason addressing their needs in free agency. New York signed wide receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph to give Daniel Jones the weapons he needed. They also took a risk and signed cornerback Adoree’ Jackson to a big deal to solidify their secondary.

There is one area on offense, though, that went mostly untouched through free agency. Many consider the Giants’ offensive line to be the biggest weakness on the team’s roster. But, looking ahead to the draft and regular season, it appears that the Giants might not feel the same way. It seems like the Giants are confident in their young offensive linemen and expect them to thrive in expanded roles this season.

What will the 2021 offensive line look like?

The tackles

General manager Dave Gettleman and the Giants are confident in what they have at right tackle. New York went offensive line in the first, third, and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft last year. In round three, the Giants selected offensive tackle, Matt Peart, out of UConn. The rookie tackle looked like a solid contributor in his rookie season when he saw the field, albeit in a limited number of snaps. But Gettleman gave his public show of support to Matt Peart, saying he is confident that Peart can start at right tackle this season.

Additionally, the Giants are getting Nate Solder back on a reworked deal after he opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. Solder could be a key addition to the lineup, whether he ends up playing right tackle or kicking out to swing tackle. Regardless, the Giants are comfortable with what they have on the right side of the line and are unlikely to reach on a tackle at any point in the draft.

Andrew Thomas was the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft for the Giants. He had his ups and downs in his rookie season, but Thomas flashed enough and looks like he will turn into a quality long-term starter to protect Daniel Jones’s blindside.

The interior

On the interior of the offensive line, the Giants have some major question marks. New York cut their best lineman, right guard Kevin Zeitler, as a cap casualty. Now they are left with some questionable starters.

Shane Lemieux started the final 8 games at right guard for the Giants last season. He showed some potential as a decent run blocker but struggled severely in pass protection. There is a lot to like about Lemieux’s game and demeanor, and the Giants seem to be very high on Lemieux, but New York needs him to take a huge step forward to feel comfortable with him as a starting guard in 2021.

Assuming Lemieux continues as the starter at left guard, who will be the new man at right guard? The Giants potentially have that guy on their roster already. Through the first eight games of the 2020 season, Will Hernandez started at left guard, as he had the past two years as well. But Hernandez struggled a lot in the first half of the season and ultimately lost his starting position.

Could the Giants plug Hernandez back in the starting lineup this season? It is very possible that they go that route. Hernandez is a former second-round pick that showed a lot of promise as a rookie. But the Giants could potentially address the interior of their offensive line in the second round of the NFL Draft.

One position on the interior where continuity is expected is at center. Nick Gates impressed the fan base and the coaching staff in 2020. Last season was Gates’s first year playing center. Gates showed a lot of growth as the season went on and looks to be a quality starter going forward.

Why fans think the line is in need of an upgrade

The Giants seem pretty confident in this young group of guys that it has on the offensive line. But fans are skeptical. The Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win-rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. So while the Giants did upgrade Daniel Jones’s weapons in free agency, fans feel like they still desperately need to fix the offensive line in front of him. It will be intriguing to see whether or not the Giants address the offensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft at the end of this month.