The New York Giants will be looking to rebuild their offensive line this offseason. But while most of the conversation is concerned with using premium resources to find five starters, the Giants will be casting their net far and wide to look for talent that might be overlooked elsewhere.
The Iowa Hawkeyes aren’t as high a profile teams as Alabama or Ohio State, but they have a reputation of putting good offensive linemen in to the NFL. Center James Daniels is generating a buzz as one of the top centers in the draft class, but there are potential NFL players elsewhere on the line as well.
Right guard Sean Welsh isn’t the kind of big, imposing lineman for which Iowa is typically known, but he is a very experienced, and intriguing, prospect.
- Powerful blocker. Absorbs bull rushes well and routinely generates movement in the run game.
- Experienced in a “Pro Style” running game.
- Able to block both zone and man-gap runs well.
- Capable pass protector.
- Heavy hands. Bends defenders back and blocks through the whistle.
- The redshirt senior has been a starter since his freshman year, playing guard, center, and right tackle
- Not a good pull blocker. Oddly mechanical and awkward when asked to pull.
- Balance may be an issue. Winds up on the turf too often.
- Awareness may be an issue.
- Size may concern some teams.
What they’re saying
IN OUR VIEW
An experienced multi-year starter at a Big 10 school at Iowa, Welsh should have the opportunity to compete for reps right away. Physically he looks the part and his measurables are what you expect from an NFL guard. His areas of strength should translate well to the NFL game and is ideally suited for a power man running scheme. He will likely start out competing for reps in year one, with the possibility of developing into a borderline pro bowl guard in the future. With Welsh’s experience, position flexibility and leadership qualities we see him taken off the board in the round 3-4 range.
-Spencer Hall - @SpinnerHall - (NFLDraftScout)
Does He Fit The Giants?
Iowa is one of the few schools still using a “pro style” attack in the age of the spread-option and that makes them a must-watch for anyone looking for offensive linemen. They might not get the best and most athletic prospects, but at the very least their products will be well-coached and well-versed in NFL run schemes before they get to the league.
Where linemen from other schools are seldom (if ever) in three point stances, or dropping back in pass sets every snap while the quarterback tosses bubble screens to approximate a run game, Iowa (as well as a few other schools) sees its players in three-point stances, firing off the football. Considering how the NFL’s CBA truncates the offseason and
All of that is one reason why I wanted to check out Sean Welsh, and after doing so, I’m glad I did.
I’m not sure if an NFL starting job is in his future, but I saw a linemen who fires off the ball with bad intentions nearly every snap, who can immediately come in and contribute to a running game, and played bigger than he measured.
Welsh is a mauler in run blocking (when not asked to pull) and generally sound in pass protection. Though, sometimes he seems to get tunnel vision when double teaming a defender and misses delayed rushes or blitzes. He also occasionally lets his stance narrow, robbing him of his leverage and power.
If the Giants are going to double-dip in the offensive line pool -- which, considering both Dave Gettleman’s draft history, the Giants, need, and the depth of talent on the interior offensive line in this class -- Welsh’s is an intriguing name to keep track of as a potential Day 3 pick.