Sports fans are not, by nature, patient people. If the New York Giants and their fans are able to be just a little bit patient with him, though, Matt Peart is a player who could reward that willingness to wait.
That, at least, is what we have been told.
“I think he has a sizeable ceiling,” GM Dave Gettleman said when the Giants selected him in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. “He’s young, he’s really got a lot of talent. We really like the upside on him.”
Coach Joe Judge added that “I think we are going to see a lot better football in the future than we’ve seen from him already.”
Let’s take a closer look.
Position: Offensive tackle
How he got here
Peart was a four-year starter at UConn, playing his first two seasons at left tackle and his final two seasons at right tackle. He started 48 straight games. Peart was a team captain and First-Team All-AAC player as a senior.
“When I came in I saw this guy and I said man he’s got the ability to be an NFL player,” said UConn coach Randy Edsall, who took over prior to Peart’s redshirt sophomore season.
“It’s one thing to have those physical attributes, but what is the mental makeup, what is the work ethic, what is the character? After being around him I said you know what this young man is going to have a tremendous opportunity and the Good Lord willing if he can stay healthy he could have a very good career in the NFL. He has put himself in that position.
“He listened to us and we told him ‘if you do these things here are the things that can happen for you.’ He listened, he asked questions, he worked his tail off. Now he’s put himself in this position where he has this tremendous opportunity.”
In an effort to, in Gettleman’s words, “fix this offensive line once and for all” the Giants made Peart one of three offensive linemen they drafted.
If all goes according to plan, Peart will spend his rookie season practicing, watching, learning, and getting stronger. Not playing.
“If Matt can stay healthy I think you can see a 12- to 15-year player in the NFL,” Edsall told me.
He just shouldn’t be counted on to play right away.
“His body’s got to mature. He’s got to become bigger and stronger and he’ll even be more dominant. The more reps, the more coaching that he gets he’s going to be that much better with his fundamentals and his technique,” Edsall said.
“When I was looking at the situation and seeing what the expectations are for the Giants I think this is the perfect situation for Matt. He goes in there, he learns and he ends up whether it’s the second year or the third year he can become a starter. Shoot, I just think he’s going to be ready to go and he continually will get better.
“I really think that this is an ideal situation. It’s a great situation for him in terms of the progression of where he is in his career.”
It isn’t hard to imagine a 2021 season with Peart at right tackle and Andrew Thomas at left tackle.