Offensive line draft classes have not been a strength in the NFL Draft of late. While good linemen are drafted every year, it has become rare that we see even one position group that looks to be both talented and deep.
This year, both the offensive tackle and offensive interior groups appear to be stacked.
That’s good news for a New York Giants team that has questions at center, right guard, and right tackle. There are also a number of players who could have futures at a number of positions along the offensive front. So perhaps the Giants’ best strategy would be to select a player who could play multiple positions and play him where he fits best in the overall scheme of things.
If they opt to go that route, they would do well to take a long look at Connor McGovern of Penn State. The Giants likely already got a good look at McGovern while scouting Saquon Barkley, but now that he is draftable we should make ourselves familiar with him.
- Big, powerful interior lineman.
- Surprisingly good feet for a big lineman. Easily able to pull to the edge or work to the second level.
- Plays with a wide base and shows good knee and hip flexibility.
- Gets after defenders as a run blocker.
- Able to anchor against powerful defensive tackles and mirror athletic ones.
- Has a nasty streak and looks for work.
- Has a tendency to let hips rise, losing leverage.
- A lot of wasted motion in his hands.
- Awareness is an issue. Too often caught off guard by, or doesn’t recognize, stunts, twists, or late blitzes.
- Occasionally lunges and can wind up on the ground.
What They’re Saying
Reliable run blocker with NFL-ready size and strength but exploitable holes in his pass sets that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. His starting experience at both center and guard could bring additional interest in McGovern, who would be a bigger, stronger option at center for teams facing odd-front power in their division. He is a good fit in gap and inside-zone run schemes, but his tendency to over-set in pass protection could be challenging to correct. He’s an early starter as a Day 2 pick, but Year 1 could have ups and downs.
- Lance Zierlein (NFL.com - Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
Given the Giants’ potential needs at both right guard and center, and Dave Gettleman’s penchant for big, strong, run blocking offensive linemen, McGovern is likely in consideration for the Giants.
He has all the physical tools to be a starter in the NFL, but has some work to do to reach his ceiling. Whether or not he is able to remain at center in the NFL will likely depend on whether or not he can get improve his hand usage. His hands aren’t exactly bad, nor are they slow, but rather there is simply too much wasted motion between snapping the ball and engaging the defender. Because of that, he can wind up giving too much ground before he is able to weigh anchor and stop bull rushers, and can find himself having to react very quickly to stop athletic rushers.
With his strength and movement skills, if McGovern can snap the ball and get his hands on the defender first, he has a high ceiling at center. If he can’t do that, he still has a strong future as a guard, where he won’t have to worry about snapping the ball and can just unleash his punch.
McGovern is a mauler of a run blocker. He consistently drives defenders backwards when engaging them heads-up, and has terrific feet and range as a puller when the play calls for it. That same athleticism is an asset to zone blocking as well, letting him do his part to get the defense flowing.
Whether or not he can polish up his technique enough to stay at center is a big question for McGovern, but he has starter upside on the offensive interior and that’s something the Giants need.