On Tuesday, I highlighted each offensive skill position for the Giants. Today, we’ll dive into the offensive line and special teams units.

Offensive Line
Projected Starters: LT Will Beatty, LG David Diehl, C David Baas, RG Chris Snee, RT James Brewer
Backups: Kevin Boothe, Sean Locklear, Jim Cordie, Brandon Moseley, Mitch Petrus

During the regular season, the Giants ranked dead last in rushing yards per game. Sure, some blame can be pointed towards Bradshaw’s injuries, Jacobs’ desire to run east-and-west, and the defense’s propensity to fall behind early in game. However, averaging 85 rushing yards per game is downright embarrassing. Eli had a career year and the Giants did rush for over 100 yards per game during the playoffs, but the mindset up front must be to run early and run often to limit the amount of nickle and dime packages.

The left tackle is the most critical part of the O-Line and the Giants will get back their starter this season. Will Beatty played well for ten games last year before suffering a detached retina and missing the rest of the season. Beatty’s replacement, David Diehl, will return to his nature left guard position where he has earned himself Pro Bowl nominations. Baas was a nice free agent addition last season who worked well with Eli while Snee is an exceptional pass blocker and underrated run blocker. The Giants parted ways with Kareem McKenzie in the off-season, opening competition at the right tackle spot. James Brewer and fifth rounder, Brandon Moseley will compete for the position. Given Brewer’s experience, he’ll likely start the season.

Overall, the Giants’ offensive line is a motley crew. The majority of the line plays above its ability and the uncertainty around the tackle positions leaves something to be desired. Ultimately, the Giants are hoping for Beatty to stay under control and protect Eli’s blindside. Many forget the constant¬†duress he was under during the playoffs. In particular, I can’t even remember how he was able to walk after the San Francisco game. The Giants’ success starts and ends with Eli–and it’s the O-Line’s job to protect him week-in and week-out.

Special Teams:

Kicker: Lawrence Tynes
Punter: Steve Weatherford

Shortly after the Super Bowl, the Giants slapped the Franchise Tag on Weatherford, but then inked him to a long-term deal. Weatherford was sensational during the post-season and made many forget the nightmare known as Matt Dodge.

Over the last few seasons, the right leg of Lawrence Tynes has paced the Giants to NFC Championship Game victories. Back in 2007, Tynes kicked the G-Men by Green Bay. This past season, he kicked the Giants by San Francisco. The Giants don’t give Tynes a ton of opportunities during the regular, ranking 24th in chances during the last two seasons, but he makes the big kicks in the big spots.

Kick Returners:¬†Da’Rel Scott, Domenik Hixon, Jerrel Jernigan, David Wilson, Jayron Hosley

Last year’s returner, Devin Thomas, left to join the Bears, leaving a vacant spot on kick return duties. The Giants will likely deploy both Scott and the speedy Wilson to return kicks while Hixon should reclaim his job as the team’s punt returner.

Check back tomorrow as I highlight the Giants’ defense.