Could the New York Giants make a splash move Thursday night in the NFL Draft, perhaps going all in to upgrade their offensive line? ESPN is reporting that the Giants are a ‘sneaky contender” to move up from No. 11 for the Oregon left tackle, should he fall past the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5.
The ESPN report says the Giants have “done a ton of legwork on Sewell, including last-minute virtual calls.”
A move up for Sewell, considered by almost all analysts to be the best offensive lineman in the draft, would be a dramatic one for the Giants.
New York drafted left tackle Andrew Thomas No. 4 overall a year ago. The Giants also drafted tackle Matt Peart in Round 3 and guard Shane Lemieux in Round 5. GM Dave Gettleman has been adamant that he believes Peart is a starting-caliber player.
Should the Giants draft Sewell, they would perhaps move Thomas to right tackle after he had a disappointing rookie season.
Despite the fact that the Giants have only six draft picks, an opportunity to get Sewell might be too much for Gettleman, who has traded up a number of times in the eight draftds he has run with the Giants and Carolina Panthers, to pass up.
From Chris’s scouting report on Sewell:
Penei Sewell projects as a starting offensive tackle, and would be best on a team which uses a power running scheme.
Sewell will almost certainly start at left tackle in the NFL and should remain there for some time. There’s no reason why he wouldn’t be able to play right tackle, but his collegiate experience is on the left side and that’s where his learning curve would be shortest at the NFL level.
Sewell might lack ideal length at 6-foot-4 ⅞ inches, with 33 ¼ inch arms, and that could bring him close to some teams’ minimum thresholds for the position. However, his movement skills — particularly for a player who weighs 331 pounds — and play strength make any length concerns a non-issue. Sewell should be a plug-and-play blocker for almost any offensive line in the NFL and could well become a “franchise” left tackle.
Other notes from ESPN
- The same report notes that the Giants have “done extensive work” on running backs who could be had after Day 1 of the draft. With only Saquon Barkley, coming back from a torn ACL, and Devontae Booker as realistic running back options right now, the view here has long been that the Giants might look to add a back in the middle to late portions of the draft.
- ESPN also says the Giants are most likely to go cornerback, wide receiver or offensive tackle if they stay at No. 11, but that Kwity Paye could be the front runner if they choose to select an edge rusher.
Medical flag for Ojulari?
Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reports that Azeez Ojulari of Georgia, considered in the running to be the first edge rusher selected, was flagged during combine medical exams for a “degenerative lower leg condition.”
In his final mock draft, Pauline selected Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons for the Giants at No. 11. The significance of Pauline’s mock is that he says it is based on “what I’m hearing league-wide on the direction teams may be headed.”