Do the New York Giants need a guard?
Considering they will have both Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler for the 2020 season it isn’t a pressing need. And compared to their questions at the offensive tackle and center positions, they are relatively set at guard.
However, that shouldn’t mean the Giants dismiss the position should a player fall to them. Hernandez only has two years remaining on his rookie contract and Zeitler could be a cap casualty after the 2020 season. At some point the Giants would like to get off the hamster wheel with the offensive line, and that will mean having a pipeline of talent available for future seasons.
The Giants could be moving to more of a man-gap based blocking scheme under Jason Garrett and Marc Colombo, and if so it would make sense to look at bigger, more powerful players to develop. Georgia guard Solomon Kindley is certainly big and powerful, and also has intriguing movement skills for a massive guard. Could he be an eventual home-grown answer for the Giants?
Prospect: Solomon Kindley, G, Georgia
Games Watched: vs. Alabama (2018) vs. Arkansas State (2019), vs. LSU (2019)
Red Flags: Lower leg injury suffered vs. Notre Dame, 2019.
Best: Size, strength, power, run blocking, short-area quickness
Worst: Weight, long speed, balance
Projection: A left or right guard with starting upside in a power-based offensive scheme.
Solomon Kindley is left guard, number 66
Georgia’s Solomon Kindley is a massive guard prospect with rare size and power for the position and good movement skills in a short area. Kindley has started games at both left and right guard for Georgia, with his most recent starts being at left guard — which is also where he has started most of his games. Kindley is quick off the snap, getting into his blocks with little wasted motion and very good explosiveness for a big player. He is functional in pass protection, with enough agility and short-area quickness to mirror defenders on the interior. Kindley is particularly effective against power rushers, playing with a very good anchor and grip strength to control defenders. Kindley shows the ability to torque defenders and consistently looks to finish his blocks with the defender on the ground.
Kindley excels in the power run game with very good play strength and the ability to drive off the ball. He plays with good pad level and hand placement, allowing him to control defenders and create movement at the line of scrimmage. He has enough lateral agility to execute zone blocks and work as a pulling guard in man-gap schemes. Kindley shows very good competitive toughness, routinely blocking through the whistle, looking for work, finishing his blocks, and hustling downfield.
While Kindley moves well in a short area for a big lineman, he is a limited athlete. He doesn’t have great long speed and can struggle to stay ahead of plays at the second level when blocking on zone or screen plays. Kindley’s aggressiveness can work against him in space, with balance becoming an issue as he lunges for defenders. Kindley has a massive frame but doesn’t carry his weight well. Conditioning could be an issue and Kindley did miss time with a lower leg injury earlier in 2019.
Overall Grade: 5.8 - Has some above average traits as well as notable athletic and schematic limitations. Should be a back-up and special teams contributor but could be more in the right situation. A value on the third day. [Grading Scale]
Solomon Kindley is a likely back-up at the NFL level, but could have starter upside as a guard in a power-based offensive scheme. He is a truly massive young man and has the ability to dominate defenders with his rare strength. Kindley shows good hand usage and generally plays with good leverage when allowed to operate in a phone booth. He plays with a definite mean streak and consistently looks to finish plays with defenders on the ground — to the point of diving on them as the play is finishing. He has an impressive anchor and very good grip strength to sustain his blocks through the whistle. Kindley moves well in a short area for a bigger guard and has some ability to mirror interior defenders, though he can be susceptible to more athletic rushers.
Teams could be concerned about Kindley’s weight over the long term and might be interested in asking him to improve his body composition. That could help reduce the risk for injury by putting less stress on his joints as well as help expand his range and improve his movement skills in space. Kindley has the versatility and experience to play both left and right guard positions, having started at both in college. That could help his draft stock as it would give teams more options to fit him into their line-ups.