The New York Giants still have a lot of work to do in order to fix their offensive line.
They are looking to completely overhaul the line from it’s previous incarnations, and having the second pick in the draft gives them options they didn’t previously have available. One of those options is to select not only the best offensive lineman in the draft, but arguably the best player, and one of the best players to come out in recent years in Quenton Nelson of Notre Dame.
But could the Giants really use the second pick in the draft on a guard?
- Prototype. Powerful build, good height and length, short-area quickness, and long arms.
- Technically proficient. Always plays with balance and leverage.
- Scheme versatile. Can play in any blocking scheme.
- Powerful man-gap blocker as well as zone.
- Excellent pass protector.
- Impressive field vision and situational awareness. Sees the field like a quarterback.
- Mean, nasty, mauler of a lineman. Always looks to finish his blocks and look for more work.
- Lacks elite foot speed.
*note: Nelson is left guard, no. 56
What they’re saying
Sources Tell Us
“He’s so unique because he’s big, but he’s not fat. He’s one of the best run blockers I’ve ever evaluated, but he’s not a liability in pass protection Mike Iupati is. He’s also an alpha who can bring and ass-kicking mindset into your position room.” - NFC team personnel executive
Does he fit the Giants?
In short, if you have an offense or a blocking scheme in which Nelson doesn’t fit, you need a new scheme. Nelson is one of the cleanest, most complete and pro-ready prospects to come out of college in recent memory.
There has been speculation by scouts that he could be an All-Pro his rookie year, and it’s tough to dispute that.
While conventional wisdom dictates that the second overall pick is too rich to take a guard, the rising cost of elite guards to rival that of tackles in free agency indicates that the tide is changing among NFL front offices. And given the impact of athletic interior pass rushers like Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox, it’s easy to see why attitudes are changing.
Nelson would automatically make the Giants’ offensive line better, helping both Nate Solder, who has struggled with speed off the edge, and center Brett Jones, who only has limited starting experience.
Drafting Quenton Nelson might be controversial among fans, but it would go a long way towards fixing an enduring problem on the Giants’ roster.