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Will Ben Bredeson fend off competition for a starting guard spot?

Drafting John Michael Schmitz means Bredeson can most likely stay at his stronger position

New York Giants v Green Bay Packers
Ben Bredeson
Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The New York Giants had a number of positional struggles in 2022. From wide receiver to linebacker and cornerback, there was certainly a lot of blame to go around when the team failed.

However, perhaps no difficulty was more meaningful than the team’s futility along the offensive line. Poor play and injuries decimated the unit, capping Daniel Jones’ ceiling within the offense and often hanging Saquon Barkley out to dry.

In the latest installment of the 90-man roster breakdown, we look at guard Ben Bredeson, a man whose absence was felt in the run game when he missed time last season.

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 315
Age: 25
Position: Left guard
Experience: 3
Contract: final year of four-year, $3,789,400 rookie deal | $494,400 guaranteed at signing | 2023 cap hit: $1,010,000

Career to date

Bredeson was drafted with the 143rd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He essentially redshirted his rookie season, as he was active for 10 games but saw just 48 offensive snaps. He was traded to the Giants shortly before the start of the 2021 season in a swap of Day 3 draft picks.

In 2021, Bredeson was active for eight games with the Giants, seeing action in seven and starting one. He played 56% of the team’s offensive snaps. His pass-blocking was poor, as he allowed a 7.4% pressure rate, two sacks, and two quarterback hits in 194 pass-blocking snaps. Pro Football Focus gave him a 22.7 pass-blocking grade for the season. However, his run-blocking fared far better, as they gave him a 75.7 grade there.

In 2022, Bredeson began the season as the starting left guard. However, he landed on injured reserve in late October with a knee injury and did not return until Week 15. Upon his reentry, he started the remaining regular season slate and the Giants’ two postseason games.

Bredeson’s second year showed an improvement in his pass-blocking but a decline in the run game, per PFF. His pressure rate allowed decreased to 3.2%, and he surrendered just two quarterback hits and no sacks. His final pass-blocking grade was 53.8, still not great but appreciably improved from the year prior. His run-blocking grade declined to 61.2, which is still serviceable.

2023 outlook

Bredeson figures to be the starting left guard on the Giants’ depth chart at the beginning of training camp. However, the Giants’ 2023 third-round pick, Joshua Ezeudu, could push him for the spot. Ezeudu did not grade out well in 290 offensive snaps at left guard last season, and a neck injury that ended his season after Week 11 did not allow him to develop further.

Still, Ezeudu showed enough improvement as a blocker after some early struggles that Bredeson could have a battle on his hands. Ezeudu was a draft pick of Joe Schoen’s, while Bredeson was a trade acquisition. A regime’s own pick often gets preference if the battle is close.