Bobby Hart. Bobby Hart. Bobby Hart. Bobby Hart. Bobby Hart. Yes, I'm stuck there. That's because it seems like New York Giants fans desperate to be rid of John Jerry, Marshall Newhouse, or both, seem to stuck on the second-year offensive lineman as well.
Everybody seems to want to know how Hart is doing. Which position is he taking practice reps at? The answer, right now, is right tackle. Is he taking first-team reps? The answer is no, thus far. Does he have a shot at taking a starting job away from Newhouse? Until we actually see Hart get first-team reps while Newhouse sits and watches, the answer there has to be no.
We have talked to, and about, Hart a number of times this offseason. Hart did an exclusive one-on-one interview with me, and also appeared on the "Big Blue Chat" podcast. Let's turn the spotlight on Hart once again as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2015 Season in Review
The Giants selected Hart, only 20 at the time, as a developmental lineman in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He started one game at right tackle and played a total of 152 offensive snaps over nine games. Mostly what Hart accomplished was to raise the hopes of the fan base that, for the first time since David Diehl in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft, the Giants might actually hit when they select a late-round offensive lineman. Since Diehl, the Giants have tried with Drew Strojny (2004, Round 7), Guy Whimper (2006, Round 4), Adam Koets (2007, Round 7), James Brewer (2011, Round 4), Brandon Mosley (2012, Round 4), Matt McCants (2012, Round 6) and Eric Herman (2013, Round 7). They came up empty each time.
2016 Season Outlook
During the handful of practices media has been able to attend so far this offseason, we have seen Hart work exclusively as a backup right tackle. The problem is that scouts have told me consistently for more than a year, and one told me again this week, that Hart simply cannot be a successful NFL right tackle. I am not a good enough talent evaluator to have a valid opinion on that one or another, but that has been an across the board refrain from pretty much every evaluator I have spoken with regarding Hart.
Perhaps Hart and the Giants would be better served if he was to move inside, but the Giants really have few other options. Byron Stingily was found wanting by the Tennessee Titans and is currently nursing an injury. Emmett Cleary has never been more than a practice squad player. Jake Rodgers is an undrafted free agent.
Perhaps Hart surprises, plays better at right tackle than talent evaluators think he can, and pushes Newhouse out of the lineup. Early indications, though, are that the Giants see him as a backup. That, of course, can change and we will closely monitor Hart's reps during the upcoming mandatory minicamp to see if his status is altered in any way.