Having spent the past few years searching for the right combination of players along the front five, the New York Giants offensive line received the title of “worst pass protectors” in the National Football League according to ESPN’s projected pass-block win rate percentages.
32. New York Giants
Projected PBWR: 52%
Projected offensive line: Andrew Thomas (56th), Shane Lemieux (69th), Nick Gates (34th), Will Hernandez (31st), Matt Peart (DNQ)
So much for general manager Dave Gettleman’s grand plan for the offensive line. The rookie Thomas performed well according to our run blocking metric, but he was a liability as a pass protector — though he did battle an ankle injury that required surgery after the season.
In what could be a make-or-break season for third-year quarterback Daniel Jones, Gettleman got him more receiving help, but Jones is going to be on the run behind this O-line.
It should be noted that the margins between each of the 32 NFL teams is quite slim. The Giants were just beaten out by the 31st ranked Pittsburgh Steelers with their with a 53 percent PBWR, the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers sat in the middle of the pack in 16th with 59%, and the Cleveland Browns’ 65 percent (just 12 percent better than the Giants) earned them the top spot on the list.
But it is also shouldn’t shock anyone to see the Giants at this spot. The team cut their best offensive lineman in Kevin Zeitler (now a member of the 14th -anked Baltimore Ravens offensive line), and the projected offensive line for 2021 involves three second-year players (Thomas, Peart and Lemieux) who are still trying to improve with their third offensive line coach in two years. The “veteran” on the line, fourth-year guard Will Hernandez, is switching from left to right guard while entering the final season on his rookie contract. Meanwhile, the undrafted former tackle Gates was in his first year playing center last season.
Much of the focus on the Giants offseason has (rightfully) gone towards the front office’s moves towards bringing in talent at the skill positions on the offense like Kenny Golladay, Kyle Rudolph, John Ross, etc. But the ESPN article is right to point out that in a huge season in the evaluation of Daniel Jones, the Giants are putting a tremendous amount of faith in their young and relatively inexperienced offensive line.
How do you think the Giants’ o-line will do this season?