The 2017 offensive tackle class is a shallow one. There are a few talented players at the top of the depth chart, but not much behind them. This year’s crop of interior offensive linemen, on the other hand, is deep and varied. While it might be overshadowed by the very impressive pass rusher, defensive back, tight end, and running back classes, there are quite a few talented interior offensive linemen.
The New York Giants have added D.J. Fluker and re-signed John Jerry to compete for the right guard spot, while Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg have the left guard and center positions locked down. However, Fluker is only signed for one year, Jerry is on the wrong side of 30, and both Pugh and Richburg will be entering free agency soon. The Giants could look to add a versatile interior lineman. Ohio State’s Pat Elflein is regarded as one of the top interior linemen in the draft, with experience at both center and guard. Might he be a fit?
- Very quick off the snap. Quickly gets into his pass set or engages in run blocking.
- Strong movement skills. Can mirror almost like an offensive tackle in pass protection.
- Good run blocker. Creates movement or at least seals off running lanes.
- Has the feet to pull effectively and get out in front of runners.
- Versatile. Has started at left guard, right guard, and center for OSU
- Doesn’t always latch on and sustain his blocks
- A bit undersized at 303 pounds.
- Occasionally seems to lose track of defenders.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
The Giants do seem to prize versatility in their interior linemen, so in that regard he does fit. Elflein has a reputation as a hard worker, which would certainly appeal the the Giants as well.
However, they also seem to be flush with options on the interior. They have D.J. Fluker, John Jerry, Brett Jones, and Bobby Hart all potentially battling for the right guard spot. Whichever team selects Elflein might need to do it with a second round pick, and for the Giants, that might be better spent on an offensive tackle to compete with Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 75th overall
CBS Sports - 71st overall
Draft Countdown - 48th overall
Draft Tek - 70th overall
This draft’s offensive line class might be considered “weak” but if you focus on the interior, it has plenty of talent, depth, and versatility. Many of the top interior players have the ability to play several positions, which can only increase their value.
Elflein might be a good and versatile prospect, but he might not be what the Giants need right now, especially if D.J. Fluker excels in a new environment.