We continue now with our breakdown of the 90-man roster the New York Giants will bring to training camp next month. We have arrived at one of the most divisive, possibly the most divisive, players on that roster. That would be veteran offensive lineman David Diehl.
2012 Season In Review
Diehl played in 13 games, starting 10 at right tackle. A knee injury cost him three games, making last season only the second time in his 10-year career he has missed games due to injury. In those seasons he has missed only seven games. Diehl's Pro Football Focus grade of -6.8 was the worst on the offensive unit, but an immense improvement over the -47.2 he posted in 2011.
We have been over this multiple times, but Diehl will compete with first-round pick Justin Pugh and third-year player James Brewer for the right tackle job. Poor PFF grades notwithstanding offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride recently said it was "going to be very difficult for someone to unseat him" as the starter.
Many Diehl haters don't want to hear that. They also don't want to hear my constant refrain that even if Pugh or Brewer takes the right tackle job away from him, Diehl can still be an incredibly valuable member of the Giants. He can be a plug and play reserve at every position except center. During his career he has played 65 games at left tackle, 42 at left guard, 30 at right tackle and 16 at right guard. I have heard all of the "he plays all of them badly" comments, but am still of the opinion that he can be an important player. You simply can't find that kind of versatile veteran on the free-agent market. Diehl, 32, knows the offense and can do an acceptable short-term job pretty much anywhere the Giants need him.