Of all the problems the Giants had against Denver yesterday, the offensive line was not high on the list. There were two awful-looking sacks, but only two, and one of them due to a botched snap count rather than an OL being beaten. But OL play is about the totality of their snaps, not one or two plays. Daniel Jones was under less pressure than in many of his games last year. The run blocking was actually worse than the pass blocking, as Chris Pflum's piece today shows.
But it's all relative - the Giants' OL is constantly (by many of you and by me too) being compared unfavorably to other OLs around the NFL. So, to paraphrase former NYC mayor Ed Koch - how're they doin'?
First, here are the PFF scores for week 1 for the Giants. As a reminder, a PFF score of about 60 (on a scale of 100) is considered an average player, and differences between players of 5-10 or more are considered to be significant:
Andrew Thomas: 68.2
Matt Peart: 63.3
Nate Solder: 63.6
Nick Gates: 59.7
Will Hernandez: 47.8
Shane Lemieux: 69.0
Ben Bredeson: 54.0
So Thomas and Lemieux (in only 17 snaps) were a little above average, Hernandez was disappointingly below average, and everyone else was about average. But Chris' article already tells us that. I'm here to compare their performance to some notable OLs around the NFL yesterday, in particular, to OLs the BBV fandom wishes we had drafted.
First, the 4 big OTs from 2020 that Thomas will forever be compared to:
Tristan Wirfs: 63.8
Mekhi Becton: 66.4 (and injured yet again)
Jedrick Wills: 72.8 (only 20 snaps, ankle injury)
Now some of the darlings of the 2021 draft (in order of draft position):
Penei Sewell: 75.6
Rashawn Slater: 73.5
Alijah Vera-Tucker: 65.1
Christian Darrisaw: DNP (injury)
Landon Dickerson: DNP (injury)
Teven Jenkins: DNP (injury)
Liam Eichenberg: 57.6
Aaron Banks: DNP (inactive, maybe injury)
Samuel Cosmi: 56.6
Creed Humphrey: 68.6
Jalen Mayfield: 28.8
Brady Christensen: DNP
Wyatt Davis: DNP
Kendrick Green: 55.3
Trey Smith: 56.1
Other drafted OLs not listed here did not play, though I may have missed a couple.
Of course these scores are for one game, and no big conclusions can be drawn from them (even though we routinely draw conclusions for our own OLs after one game). But a few lessons I take from this list:
- Even Tristan Wirfs can have a mediocre game.
- It would be no surprise to see the highest drafted OL, Penei Sewell, scoring the highest in his first game, except for the fact that he was a disaster during training camp and pre-season games... where the Lions were playing him at RT rather than his natural LT. He only played LT yesterday because the Lions' starting LT was injured. Don't let anyone tell you that you can just flip sides on the OL. It takes time (think Nate Solder, who has been an LT most or all of his career). Also remember that Wirfs, the guy many of you regret us not drafting, has been exclusively a RT.
- The beloved Rashawn Slater played well yesterday. But scored only a few points higher than Andrew Thomas.
- No other rookie OL played better than average yesterday. A few played poorly. Many didn't play at all.
I'm not saying we shouldn't have drafted an OL. I wanted us to, at some point. But these are things to remember as we go forward this season. The grass is always greener...