When the New York Giants drafted Will Beatty out of UConn in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft they hoped they were drafting a player who would develop into a premier left tackle.
When the Giants drafted him College Scouting Director Marc Ross spoke about Beatty's "raw athletic ability" and said he had had "a lot of upside."
Entering 2012, his fourth season in the NFL, Beatty had not turned into the player the Giants hoped for when they used the 60th overall selection on him. Sure, he began last season as the starter at left tackle and played acceptably. But, he was lost after six games to a detached retina. Beatty then hurt his back during offseason workouts and missed all of OTAs and mini-camps, most of training camp and the beginning of the regular season.
Since he returned to the starting lineup in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Beatty, now 27, has played like never before.
He he has been so impressive that here at Big Blue View we have Beatty ranked No. 4 in our Giants' roster rankings. Pro Football Focus has Beatty at +9.7 for the season, the second-highest grade among Giants' offensive players behind Eli Manning's +19.7.
Beatty, in fact, is PFF's fifth-ranked tackle in all of football at this point in the season. He has not allowed a sack or a hit on Manning yet this season, according to PFF, and has allowed only six hurries. Beatty's +6.9 run-blocking score is third among all offensive tackles, and a huge part of the reason why the Giants have run the ball better this season than last. The Giants, following last week's 243-yard effort vs. the Cleveland Browns, are 12th in the league at 120.2 yards per game after finishing last in the NFL in rushing a season ago.
The power of animation shows off some of Beatty's best work Sunday against Cleveland. Have a look at the following GIFs.
This is Beatty pulling and manhandling a Cleveland linebacker to lead Ahmad Bradshaw on a relatively short gain early in the first quarter. Despite the short gain, great work by Beatty.
Here, Beatty completely stonewalls Cleveland defensive end Jaqua Parker. This was pretty much what happend on pass plays all afternoon.
Watch Beatty get to the second level on this shotgun draw and manhandle Browns' linebacker D'Qwell Jackson and a Browns' defensive back simultaneously.
Beatty's block on this 4-yard touchdown run by Bradshaw was not the key one. Watch, though, as Beatty takes his man and drives him from the 3-yard line all the way into the end zone.
With Beatty again getting to the second level on a Bradshaw run watch what happens to the poor linebacker who ended up in Beatty's path.
Watch the athleticism on display here as Beatty gets down the field and leads Bradshaw on a long run in the fourth quarter.
It has, of course, only been three games. So, no one should go and put Beatty into the Pro Bowl just yet. It has, however, been an impressive stretch for Beatty.
Lining up across from Beatty this week will be San Francisco's outstanding defensive end, Justin Smith. After what Beatty has done the past three games, however, Giants' fans should feel pretty good about Beatty's chance of neutralizing Smith on Sunday.