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90-Man Roster: John Jerry Coming Off His Best Season

At 31, can he continue to get better?

NFL: New York Giants at Cleveland Browns
John Jerry
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants fans direct an awful lot of their venom toward left tackle Ereck Flowers. So much so, in fact, that it is easy to forget that a fairly significant portion of the fan base doesn’t have much use for starting right guard John Jerry, either.

Does Jerry really deserve the scorn much of the fan base sends his way? Let’s take a closer look as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

2016 Season In Review

After spending time working with LeCharles Bentley at the OLine Performance Center, Jerry had the best season of his seven-year NFL career. Jerry’s Pro Football Focus grade of 77.0 was the highest of his career and more than 20 points better than his grades in either of his first two seasons. PFF grades, of course, are not gospel and not a perfect indicator of success or failure. These scores, though, would indicate there was marked improvement.

Jerry allowed only two sacks last season in 705 pass-blocking snaps, and PFF ranked him 23rd among 71 qualifying guards in pass-blocking.

Jerry’s reputation has always been that he doesn’t run block as well as he protects the quarterback. In 2016, he had a 61.9 Pro Football Focus run-blocking score. Here is an oddity — the Giants were 23rd in the league running behind right guard last season, averaging 3.42 yards per attempt. Yet, they ran 73 plays behind Jerry, fourth-most behind any right guard in the league. Now, that does not account for blocking schemes that would have involved pulling or trapping, but it seems odd.

2017 Season Outlook

The Giants re-signed Jerry, 31, to a surprisingly generous three-year, $10 million contract with $4.25 million guaranteed. Even though they are saying that, technically, free-agent signee D.J. Fluker is in competition for the right guard job, Jerry took all of the reps at that spot in the spring. The Giants, simply put, did not hand Jerry that kind of money to sit the bench.

Justin Pugh said recently that Jerry has once again been training at OLine Performance, along with Weston Richburg. That is a good thing. As always, expect Jerry to be serviceable at right guard, maybe even a tad better than that. He will do a fine job pass blocking. If he just had the temperament or ability to knock people off the ball with that 6-foot-5, 340-pound frame he would be a top-tier player.