Entering the 2011 season, there were questions about whether or not 2009 second-round draft pick Will Beatty, in his third season, was ready to step up and be the left tackle for the New York Giants. Beatty did a creditable job through 10 games before suffering a season-ending detached retina.
In his first season as a starter, Beatty allowed four sacks and three quarterback hits in 10 games. He compiled a -1.2 overall score from Pro Football Focus -- sadly, the best among all Giants offensive lineman who played regularly a season ago. Beatty's +1.9 score for run-blocking was the only 'plus' grade PFF gave any regular Giants offensive lineman.
Overall, Beatty was middle of the pack among offensive tackles graded by PFF, placing 30th out of 76 players who played at least 25 percent of their team's offensive snaps.
The Giants have not yet announced any plans for how they will arrange their offensive line entering the 2012 training camp this summer. I have to believe, though, that there is little doubt Beatty will be returned to the starting left tackle role. The Giants showed last season that they don't want David Diehl in that spot any longer, and Diehl seems likely to wind up on the right side replacing Kareem McKenzie in 2012. Second-year man James Brewer is not going to challenge Beatty, and neither are rookies Brandon Mosley and Matt McCants.
So, there are two questions for Beatty. First, can he improve on a season during which he seemed to show some promise at the left tackle spot? Second, can he stay healthy and do the job for a full season?
Again and again already this offseason we have talked about the need for improvement from the Giants' offensive line. If they are going to get that, Beatty needs to be part of the solution.