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Football Outsiders gives Giants offensive line a little love

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Football Outsiders recently reviewed the drafts and remaining needs of each team in the NFC East in a regular segment it calls 'Four Downs.'

Within FO's recap is some interesting statistical data about the Giants offensive line, an underappreciated unit that was one of the best in the league in 2007.

FO summarized the situation with the Giants offensive line this way:

Back in the fall of 2007, it seemed very likely that the New York Giants would need to draft an offensive lineman in the 2008 draft, perhaps even in the first round. Former starting left tackle Luke Petitgout had just left for Tampa Bay, and his backup, Bob Whitfield, had retired. These departures gave David Diehl, formerly a guard, and Rich Seubert, formerly a backup, the chance to start at left tackle and left guard, respectively. Fans hoped for the best, but it wouldn’t have been too surprising to see Diehl move back to guard by now, forcing the Giants to draft a lineman high or dip into the free agency pool.

After the Giants won the Super Bowl, many incredulous pundits described them as an average regular-season team that somehow played out of its mind in the playoffs, but the statistics tell a different story about the offensive line. The Giants’ line ranked second overall in Adjusted Line Yards, and ranked in the top ten in every other category except pass protection (in which they ranked 11th). Their strong performances won Seubert and Diehl new offseason contracts.

Personally, I thought Diehl could play left tackle. He exceeded expectations, though, and looks like a long-term answer there. I was a tad surprised the Giants didn't select an offensive lineman in the draft, but they are still fairly young and pretty deep in that area.