This past season as a whole (specifically the NFC Championship game) revealed to the masses that the Giants’ offensive line needs help going forward. But let’s look at it from another angle, and not overreact to one game that featured the NFL’s best front seven. For long stretches during the year and especially towards the start of the season, the offensive line was terrible. To me, this is partly because of injuries and a short training camp. An injury to Will Beatty at left tackle forced David Diehl to play two positions – and with a broken hand, too. The rushing attack was atrocious thanks slightly to Ahmad Bradshaw’s ineffective play because of a persistent foot injury, as well as Brandon Jacobs being unhappy. Finally, with a shuffling lineup up front and a brand new anchor in the middle (David Baas) it made jelling as a collective unit difficult. Tack on a shortened training camp with much less time to come together and difficulties should have been expected along the way. It wasn’t until much later in the year (later than we liked) when this unit really began to click – when a rapport was built weeks after it normally would/could/should have been.
In the past three Drafts they’ve in total drafted three linemen (two tackles, one guard): Beatty, Mitch Petrus and James Brewer. Center David Baas just signed a 5-year/$27-mil. deal. Veterans Diehl and Chris Snee are in the team’s short-term plans. Sixth man Kevin Boothe is coming off of a strong season in which he played every position along the line except tight end.
To me, it seems Big Blue has good pieces in place along the offensive line – the only lingering question mark is right tackle Kareem McKenzie. Reports are emerging that the 33-year-old will most likely not be re-signed in the offseason and for much of the year McKenzie looked the part of a replacement level player. There are plenty of talented offensive linemen in this year’s Draft. From top to bottom this is one of the more impressive guard classes that I’ve seen in recent years, and there are a few impact-from-day-one tackles.
Clearly offensive lineman is the biggest need on the offensive line. Even clearer than that, though, is the Giants don’t draft based on need. The Giants have considered taking a tackle in the first round in the last few Drafts and this year may not be any different. Let’s take a look today at a top offensive tackle prospect who could be the best player available when the Giants are on the clock – Ohio State’s Mike Adams.
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