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Giants 2018 draft: OG Will Hernandez is Giants’ second-round pick

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Big Blue adds a hog molly to help clear the way for Saquon Barkley, protect Eli Manning

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NCAA Football: Senior Bowl-North Practice
Will Hernandez
Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

With their second-round pick, 34th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Giants added a hog molly for their offensive line, selecting UTEP guard Will Hernandez.

The 6-foot-2 3/8, 327-pound Hernandez was generally considered one of the three top guards in this draft class. The other two, Quenton Nelson (6th, Indianapolis Colts) and Isaiah Wynn (23rd, New England Patriots) were selected in Round 1.

In his prospect profile of Hernandez, Chris wrote:

Maybe it has something to do with the shell he wears, with its high neck roll, but watching Hernandez harkens back to an earlier age of football. Perhaps the 1980s or early 1990s, when high-octane passing offenses were beginning to dominate but running games were still revered.

Hernandez can do it all out on the football field, be it pass protection, block in the power run game, zone runs or get out in space on screen passes. His arm length might concern some with rigid thresholds there, but he can play.

The NFL Draft Report calls Hernandez “the gridiron’s version of Braun Strowman - a beast among men.”

NFL Draft Report also says:

“He is a strong finisher in the running game and shows enough second level quickness to position and sustain vs. the line-backers. He is very explosive on the short pull, as his loose hips let him adjust smoothly when working in close quarters. He is very good in attempts to land, recoil and recover with his hands in pass protection, as he consistently defeats counter moves.

Hernandez plays with a flat back and feet, along with a very strong base. It is rare to see him on the ground and on the rare occasions that does happen, he is quick to recover. He uses his hands and long arms with effectiveness to lock on and control. He has been so dominating at this level (Conference USA), but you saw at the Senior Bowl practices that he has the ability to do it vs. more elite competition. As a run blocker, Hernandez can hit, drive and explode into his man. He does a good job of anticipating where the defender is and will easily move his feet to get into position to take on the opponent.”

Hernandez played right guard at UTEP. During voluntary mini-camp, the Giants lined up with Jon Halapio as the starter at that spot. It would seem likely that Hernandez could challenge to change that.

If Hernandez wins the right guard job, he would join a revamped offensive line. Left tackle Nate Solder and left guard Patrick Omameh were free-agent signings. Brett Jones replaces Weston Richburg at center. Right tackle is up in the air as Ereck Flowers has not attended voluntary offseason workouts or this week’s mini-camp, leaving Chad Wheeler as the starter — for now — in that spot.

Giants’ draft picks

The Giants have two more selections on Day 2, 66th and 69th. Their complete list of selections is below.

  • Round 1 (No. 2 overall) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  • Round 2 (No. 34) Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
  • Round 3 (No. 66)
  • Round 3 (No. 69)
  • Round 4 (No. 108)
  • Round 5 (No. 139)

Grade the pick

The first-round selection of Saquon Barkley was a home run with the Giants fan base, as 86 percent of those who voted in our poll gave the pick either an ‘A’ or a ‘B.’ Vote in the poll below and let us know what you think of the team’s second-round pick.

Poll

What grade would you give the Giants’ Round 2 selection?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    A
    (4097 votes)
  • 5%
    B
    (227 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (22 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    F
    (11 votes)
4358 votes total Vote Now