The New York Giants need to do something about their offensive line. The question, of course, is “what”.
Evan Neal has yet to live up to expectations as a Top-10 draft pick amid a rocky and injury-plagued start to his career. Segments of the fanbase are either calling for him to be moved to guard or ready to kick him to the curb altogether. That, of course, would create a void at right tackle
BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia is one of the more intriguing linemen in the 2024 draft class. He declared for the draft as a 20-year-old red-shirt sophomore with experience at both right and left tackle. If the Giants move on from Evan Neal at right tackle, could Suamataia be an option to replace him?
Prospect: Kingsley Suamataia (78)
Games Watched: vs. Notre Dame (2022), vs. Cincinnati (2023), vs. Texas Tech (2023), vs. West Virginia (2023)
Weight: 325 pounds
- Movement skills
Suamataia is a big, long, and exceptionally athletic offensive tackle prospect. He has experience at both left and right tackle for BYU, and can block in a variety of schemes.
He has a good, versatile build for an offensive tackle at 6-foot-5, balancing good length with natural leverage. He has obvious thickness and power in both his upper and lower body, but also carries his 325 pounds extremely well. Suamataia is a remarkably athletic prospect with easy movement skills, and not just for a player his size. He has light, quick feet with flexible ankles and very fluid hips. That allows him to effortlessly expand the pocket with his kick-slide or mirror speed off the edge. He’s also able to quickly get in front of the play as a pulling lineman or get into position for accurate blocks in space. Suamataia has plenty of speed in the open field and is an effective blocker on screen plays.
Once engaged, he has plenty of grip strength to control defenders and take them out of the play. His play strength allows him to anchor against powerful defenders who attempt to bull-rush him, while his quick feet allow him to re-anchor if he’s initially beaten.
Suamataia’s athleticism makes him a capable run blocker in both inside and outside zones, with the power to hold up (or move) larger defenders as well as the movement skills to get them flowing laterally. Likewise, he can displace them when blocking downhill.
- Hand usage
- Redirection in his kick-slide
Suamataia is a young player (his 21st birthday is Jan. 18), which is likely the cause of some holes in his game.
He can be slow to react to the snap, occasionally being noticeably tardy and the last player moving. Likewise, he can also get lost on the field when blocking in space or if a defender uses an unexpected move.
Suamataia’s a smooth athlete and doesn’t need to flail his arms to keep balance when moving laterally, but he does have a tendency to carry his hands low when kick-sliding. That can open his chest plate to defenders and make it difficult for him to seize inside leverage at the point of contact. He can be a bit tentative with his punch, and doesn’t use his length and strength to their full advantage when engaging defenders. That can also hold him back a bit on man-gap runs, when he can’t rely on his athleticism to take position or force defenders to flow laterally.
Suamataia can have a tendency to get “stuck” in his kick-slide, particularly at left tackle. He can be slow to redirect back inside if a defender attacks the B-gap with an inside move or delayed pressure.
(Suamataia is LT number 78)
Suamataia projects as a starting offensive tackle at the NFL level, and could well be drafted in the first round after a strong draft process. He has rare athleticism for the position and already seems to have a solid foundation. Combined with his age, he has a sky-high upside.
He has experience playing both right and left tackle, though he appears more comfortable at right tackle. Suamataia should appeal to a variety of teams, though they may want to start him at right tackle if he is indeed more comfortable on that side.
Does he fit the Giants?
Yes. He needs experience and development to reach his ceiling, but he can be a starting right tackle.
Final Word: A high Day 2 pick with the potential to rise into the first round with a good showing throughout the draft process.