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Analysis: Doubling down on offensive tackles could work

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Did the Giants just find a future long-term solution at right tackle

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 01 Navy at UConn Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Giants select another offensive tackle with the 99th selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. UCONN’s Matt Peart, a very long and athletic lineman, who needs a bit more time to add strength and technique. I 100 percent support doubling down on the tackle position. Giants’ fans can attest, it’s been way too long since this team has had competent young offensive tackles; the Giants added two of them in the first two days of the draft.

Since the Giants went Xavier McKinney in the second round, I doubted they would add Appalachian State’s Akeem Davis-Gaither, who I love. With every selection, there’s an opportunity cost, but it’s hard to knock the Giants going after tackle again. Hog mollies, hog mollies, hog mollies my friends.

A four-year starter at UCONN, Peart was first-team All-ACC in 2019, as well as a team captain. Started all 48 games for the Huskies, 24 at left tackle, and 24 at right tackle. Coach Joe Judge and Dave Gettleman have discussed the importance of versatile lineman, and Peart has experience in this area. Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy compared Peart to D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

He’s a developmental tackle with incredible length. 36⅝-inch arms are in the 99th percentile of arm length, with an 86½-inch wingspan - incredible. Quick foot-speed is very impressive in mirroring up the arc. Peart gets power through his hips and knows how to engage his core at the point of contact. He plays with good bend/flexibility, but must lower pad level to limit his chests exposure. Love his ability to move and glide in space. His physical traits are hard to ignore, and his upside is immense if he can be developed the right way.

He lacks ideal strength, bullying ability, and anchor to hold up against top competition. That is one of the big reasons why he was available late on Day 2. He must become stronger, and he must improve his use of hands. His hands are inconsistent with placement/pop, and he doesn’t do the best job framing his blocks. Peart relied on superior athletic ability, and length to mask positioning issues and to cover up for inconsistent pass sets. He’s 6-foot-7, 318 pounds, but he has a lean frame, so he could add more muscle to assist with his strength issues.

Peart is a developmental project for offensive line coach Marc Colombo in 2020. He has great physical attributes — people this long/big don’t move so smoothly too often. He has to improve technique with his feet and hands, while also getting a bit stronger, but I like this selection. New York isn’t necessarily in a spot to make “luxury” selections, but Peart’s upside, and the current board, make me feel comfortable with this pick. Peart and Andrew Thomas can form a young, LONG, offensive tackle tandem to combat DeMarcus Lawerence, Chase Young, and Brandon Graham. I had the opportunity to talk with him at the Senior Bowl and he was cordial. Peart is explosive, light on his feet, and is a great natural athlete. With the right development, this pick could be very special. But patience is a virtue, and that may not materialize in 2020.