Despite spending a first-round draft pick on an offensive tackle, the prognosticators remain generally unimpressed with the New York Giants’ offensive line.
Pro Football Focus released its comprehensive ranking of every offensive line unit in the NFL. The Giants reside at the No. 20 spot, ahead of the Cardinals, Bears, Vikings, Falcons, Rams, Jaguars, Jets, Seahawks, Redskins, Chargers, Bengals and Dolphins. The Colts topped the list, thanks largely in part to guard Quinton Nelson serving as the anchor for their unit.
Although the Giants were ranked in the bottom half of the league, PFF’s Steve Palazzolo notes Big Blue’s unit isn’t as paltry as many people would believe.
The Giants weren’t as bad as the perception last season, finishing 17th in our regular-season rankings, and the line is heading in the right direction.
The article highlights guard Will Hernandez failing to bloom after a promising rookie year, as well as the question mark the Giants have at center. Currently, last year’s starting center Jon Halapio remains a free agent, which means Spencer Pulley appears to be the front-runner to start. However, Pulley’s play hasn’t instilled confidence in PFF, as he’s never recorded a grade higher than 56.7.
Palazzolo also talks about how both the Giants’ rookie tackles, Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart, figure to be keys in long-term improvements along the offensive line.
Andrew Thomas steps in after Mike Remmers tied for 10th with 40 pressures allowed. Thomas was the highest-ranked tackle on the PFF draft board and was the only player to rank in the top five as both a pass and run blocker in the draft class. Thomas should be able to step in as a solid right tackle and could eventually play on the left side if New York moves on from Solder. Another player to keep an eye on is third-round tackle Matt Peart out of UConn, a classic developmental prospect who performed well in college but still has room to grow. He had the No. 6 overall grade in the draft class last year at 90.2 and he just started playing football in high school.
Thomas replacing Mike Remmers as the unit’s second starting tackle should prove to be an enormous upgrade.
In last year’s exercise, PFF ranked the Giants’ offensive line 18th, so it’s interesting to see them tumble down two spots. Of course, Nate Solder’s porous play in 2019, which likely played a large role in New York’s two-spot decrease.
All in all, PFF’s ranking seems fair for a unit that will start a rookie at one tackle spot and a player who was a liability a year ago at the other tackle position. If Thomas and Peart can develop the way the Giants hope they can, it’s feasible to see the Giants’ offensive line ranked higher up on PFF’s list next year.