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2016 NFL free agency: Five right tackles the Giants might consider

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There aren't a lot of great options, but there are a few.

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Ryan Schraeder
Ryan Schraeder
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

If the New York Giants think 2015 seventh-round pick Bobby Hart is capable of handling a guard spot for them in 2016, or -- gasp! -- if they are actually OK with John Jerry manning right guard again, they could scour free agency for a right tackle. Unfortunately, there are not a ton of attractive options.

Let's clear up one thing right away about the approach to this list. I am taking Giants General Manager Jerry Reese at his word that the organization is committed to Ereck Flowers at left tackle. That means I am not considering any of the current free-agent left tackles. I am only listing guys who play on the right side.

Mitchell Schwartz

The first player we profiled when we began looking at potential free agent targets for the Giants. He is the best of the group of unrestricted free agent right tackles. From our profile:

The 26-year-old was a second-round pick by Cleveland in 2012. He has started every game in his four-year career, all at the right tackle spot.

Pro Football Focus gives Schwartz a grade of 86.6, which makes him a Pro Bowl-caliber player in the PFF scoring system. PFF says:

"Although he did allow 43 total pressures this season, he also was tied for the most snaps in pass protection with a whopping 705; by comparison, only 15 tackles had more than 600 pass-block snaps. Schwartz has earned a positive overall grade in all four seasons, and is coming off the best season of his career. In addition, Schwartz has not missed a single snap out of 4,427 over his four years in the league."

The weird part for the Giants and Schwartz, though, is that the Giants recently cut Mitchell's brother, Geoff. Even though Geoff had said via social media that he and Mitchell playing together might not be a great idea, you have to wonder about the Schwartz-Giants dynamic, at least from the outside. Maybe it doesn't mean anything. Maybe it means everything. My guess is we will find out in a few days.

Rotoworld ranks Schwartz No. 26 on its list of the top 100 free agents. PFF also ranks Schwartz No. 26 on its list of the top 75 free agents. NFL.com puts him No. 38 on its list of the top 99 free agents.

Joe Barksdale

Barksdale, 27, is tough to figure out. Ina  five-year career, he has already played for three teams. After three years with the St. Louis Rams, he signed a one-year deal with the San Diego Chargers for 2015 and, by all accounts, played pretty well. Yet, he is back on the market.

NFL.com ranks him No. 83 on its free agent list and says "you could do a lot worse if you need a starting right tackle." PFF ranks him right behind Schwartz in terms of available tackles, but offers only lukewarm praise:

Barksdale hits the free agent market for a second-straight offseason after failing to garner much interest last year and having to settle for a one-year deal with the Chargers. Much like Schwartz, Barksdale allowed a significant amount of pressure last season, but was also near the top in total pass snaps. In a flip from the previous year, he was slightly above-average as a pass-blocker while slightly below-average as a run-blocker. In each of the last three years, he has put together good stretches of play, but hasn't been able to sustain it for an entire season.

SB Nation is a bit more effusive:

Barksdale was the best performer on a bad Chargers offensive line last season. He was the best player on that line and he knows it. He's a strong right tackle who can hold his own against all kinds of pass rushers, and is hitting the open market for the second time in as many years. He played in and started all 16 games last season, just as he did with the Rams the year before.

Andre Smith

Smith, 29, is a seven-year veteran who has been a starter for the Cincinnati Bengals since 2011. He had some good years, but the last two seasons have not been his best. Injuries limited him to only nine games in 2015, and 2015 was a rough season for Smith:

Smith had the worst season of his career in 2015 with an overall player grade of 39.6. In his defense, the Bengal has dealt with multiple injuries and concussions over the last two years, both of which could be significant contributors to his worst two seasons out of his five years as a starter. In 2012, he was our highest-graded right tackle in the league, with one of the better run-blocking grades that season. Similar to Okung, it's possible that he can regain that form, but the uncertainty might be the difference between a short- and long-term contract.

NFL.com ranks him No. 34, but issues a buyer warning, saying "It's a red flag he's coming off such a down year after the Bengals maxed out his skill set for much of his career."

Walter Football says it's tough to know what to expectfrom Smith going forward:

It's hard to tell what happened to Andre Smith. He used to be a stout right tackle, but his play has dropped off the past couple of years. He's been mediocre, at best, since 2014. Perhaps he'll be able to rebound.

It sounds like signing Smith would require a leap of faith that he can turn back the clock.

Ryan Schraeder

Schraeder, a 27-year-old former undrafted free agent who has been a starter for the Atlanta Falcons for the past two years would probably be the most attractive right tackle of the free-agent bunch if he were unrestricted. He is a restricted free agent, however, and Atlanta has reportedly placed a second-round tender on him. That means draft choice compensation would be required for signing him.

What kind of player is he? Here is Dave Choate of SB Nation's Falcons blog, The Falcoholic:

He's a terrific player, legitimately, and was one of the more durable and effective right tackles in the NFL last year. I can't say enough about his growth as a player and his play for Kyle Shanahan's offense this last year. I don't yet know what level the Falcons tendered him at, but I'm guessing they won't do less than the second round.

Pro Football Focus gave Schraeder a grade of 87.0, the best of any offensive tackle in the current free-agent class, for his work in 2015. Schraeder was named one of PFF's 25 breakout stars of 2015.

Bobby Massie

Massie, who will be 27 next season, has been a starter in three of his four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. Massie is a player some love and some, frankly don't. Here is Jess Root of SB Nation Cardinals website, Revenge of the Birds:

"He's actually decent. I would call him an average to above average RT. He is durable and hasn't hit his ceiling. He struggled with the mental side for a while when Arians brought a new offense," Root said. "And there is the off-the-field concern. He had a DUI right before the Super and admitted to the officer he has been drunk every day for the last 10 years. He will get beat by speed rushers. But overall, no real complaints. There are definite upgrades, but you can do a lot worse."

Pro Football Focus ranks Massie No. 7 among available offensive tackles and 74th on its list of the top 75 free agents:

It's tough to know what to expect from Bobby Massie. He was one of the worst pass-blocking tackles back in 2012, but he improved quite a bit after being given another chance in 2014. However, he couldn't sustain the improvement last season. He regressed in pass protection, with particularly poor outings against the Seahawks' and Rams' good defensive lines. As for the run game, Massie has been a decent run-blocker in his three seasons as a starter. You won't be sure which player you are getting by signing Massie, but at the least he could be a viable sixth offensive lineman.