We haven’t covered underclassmen draft declarations much. Quite frankly, they have become so commonplace, they’re rarely worth mentioning. However, this is one case where a position at which the New York Giants need to upgrade saw a pair of underclassmen declare, so it bears noting.
The 2017 offensive tackle class looks to be the weakest one in years, so it’s kind of a big deal that Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk and Florida State’s Roderick Johnson both decided to enter the draft.
Ramczyk’s decision to declare is somewhat surprising. The Wisconsin left tackle only has one year of major college experience after transferring from UW-Stevens Point, a Division III school, and he underwent hip surgery after Wisconsin’s bowl game — though he played well through the injury. Despite little experience at the highest level, Ramczyk fit right in, with plenty of power in Wisconsin’s run-heavy scheme, and solid feet in pass protection.
Barring a surprise declaration by Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey, Ramczyk stands a good chance of being the second-rated tackle in the class and potential target of the Giants.
Also declaring is FSU left tackle Roderick Johnson. Johnson is a more conventional prospect, declaring early after a solid career at a football powerhouse. He is more potential than production at this point. He has a big frame at 6-feet-7, 315 pounds, is a reliable pass and run blocker. However, like many young tackles coming out, he has technique problems, particularly with hand use and improving his kick-slide.
As Ed mentioned in his musings on improving the Giants’ offense, they have a lot of work to do on that side of the ball. Potentially finding a starting tackle should be on their “To Do” list.