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New York Giants Potential Free-Agent Target: Joe Barksdale, OT, St. Louis Rams

Let's look at a right tackle who might be available on the free-agent market.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Common wisdom is that the New York Giants are one quality starter away from having a solid offensive line, whether that be a right tackle or a guard. Could St. Louis Rams right tackle Joe Barksdale be that guy?

Barksdale, 27, is a four-year veteran who has been the starting right tackle for the Rams for the past two seasons. Barksdale was a third-round pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2011, but when Dennis Allen became head coach in 2012 the Raiders cut ties with Barksdale.

Joe McAfee of SB Nation's Rams web site, Turf Show Times, offers mostly positive reviews of Barksdale's work:

"Oakland never really gave him a full shot, but he found his way to the Rams right tackle gig when Rodger Saffold got injured (which he is wont to do) in 2013. Things were tough on him this year playing next to RG Davin Joseph who was not, as the kids say, 'good,' " McAfee wrote in a e-mail. "Solid technique for RT. Capable of mauling in the run game, but isn't the most agile or quickest option. So he has some struggles with speed LDEs, of which there aren't a ton. Good hand and footwork. Isn't pretty, but is effective. Just turned 26, so has a good outlook over his next contract to hit peak performance and hold down the spot for years."

Here are Barksdale's Pro Football Focus scores:

  • 2014: -5.9 overall in 1,031 snaps (-9.4 in pass protection, +5.6 in run blocking). Barksdale allowed seven sacks. He was playing next to Joseph, who graded at -24.6 overall, so perhaps that had an impact.
  • 2013: +9.2 overall in 838 snaps (+8.2 in pass protection, -1.2 in run blocking). Barksdale surrendered four sacks. Generally played next to Safford (+6.9) or Shelley Smith (+7.2).

Signing Barksdale would mean moving Justin Pugh inside, likely to left guard. The Giants signed the more accomplished Geoff Schwartz to a four-year, $16.8 million free-agent contract a year ago. Barksdale should carry a lower price tag.

To move on Barksdale, the Giants would have to be convinced that his 2013 season is representative of the kind of player he can be. Are you interested, Giants fans?