There is general agreement that the New York Giants selected a number of talented players in the 2017 NFL Draft. There is also nearly-universal agreement that the biggest flaw in the draft was that the Giants waited until the sixth round of the draft to add competition to an offensive line widely considered the team’s biggest remaining weakness.
In that sixth round, the Giants traded up to select Pitt offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty with the 200th overall pick of the draft. Did the Giants wait too long, or did they uncover an unpolished gem near the bottom of the draft?
“We felt really good about Adam Bisnowaty and we didn't want to miss out on him, compared to some other people that you may have to wait on in the sixth, and then wait on in the seventh round,” Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross said after the draft. “We felt that he was worth packaging those two picks to get.”
Bisnowaty has drawn comparisons to David Diehl, a 2003 fifth-round pick who started at four different positions on the line for the Giants during an 11-year career. Bisnowaty said at rookie mini-camp that he doesn’t care where he plays.
“Wherever my name is at, I'll play and I'm excited to be out on the field,” he said. “I'm comfortable playing either position, either side. Either way, I'll be out there and play as hard as I can.”
Let’s look a little closer at Bisnowaty as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.
2016 Season in Review
Bisnowaty entered the 2016 season considered by some to be one of the best collegiate left tackles in the nation and a potential first-round pick. His stock, obviously, dropped considerably leading up to the draft.
In its 2017 NFL Draft guide, Pro Football Focus said the biggest concern was Bisnowaty’s year-to-year decline as a run blocker. Using PFF’s grading system, Bisnowaty’s run-blocking scores at Pitt were 85.7 in 2014, 78.5 in 2015 and just 69.3 in 2016. As a pass blocker, PFF had Bisnowaty allowing only one sack, three hits and nine hurries in 399 pass-blocking snaps, a 97.3 pass-blocking efficiency score that placed him 21st among qualifying tackles.
Bisnowaty has flashed the ability to succeed in the run game, but it’s concerning to see his regression over the years. He should have had more success in a friendly Pittsburgh scheme, and coupled with his struggles during Senior Bowl week, there are concerns about Bisnowaty’s fit at the next level. Bisnowaty does play with great length with his arms and this shows itself both on film and his compilation of positive run-blocking grades. However, his lack of athleticism has led to a high number of negatively graded run-blocking grades also to balance out the good plays. Bisnowaty’s biggest struggles will probably come in pass protection as he struggles to quickly change directions causing him to be out of position to block the rusher. It’s difficult to project a scheme fit for Bisnowaty as he does not appear quick enough to play in a zone-blocking scheme so he is probably best suited for a gap-blocking scheme although there is needed improvement in his power-blocking skill set.
There is, of course, a human element to scouting. This report from Ian Wharton is his 2017 NFL Draft Guide had a somewhat different take on Bisnowaty:
Bisnowaty was pushed around and bullied far too often in the trenches because he’s at least 20 pounds underweight in terms of functional strength in his core and legs. That’s fixable in time. But teams must have patience and some faith that his speed and athleticism will stick with the bulk. Right now, Bisnowaty’s a tremendous mover who specializes in the run game.
2017 Season Outlook
Bisnowaty began his Giants’ career by lining up at right tackle during rookie mini-camp. Will he stay there? Will he be part of a competition for the right tackle job with Bobby Hart and perhaps D.J. Fluker? Is it too much to ask sixth-round pick who spent his entire collegiate career at left tackle to transition to the right and become an instant starter?
The ceiling for Bisnowaty in 2017 might be a surprisingly quick rise that finds him winning the right tackle job. More likely, he follows the path of Hart, a 2015 seventh-round pick who was a seldom-used backup in 2015 and then worked his way into the lineup last season.
“I just try to be who I am,” Bisnowaty said. “The reason why they chose me was to come here and try to be that same person. Be the same person that I am on and off the field, just continue that. It has got me here, and I think it's going to continue to make me pretty successful.”
The Giants hope so.