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Could 2012 Be the Year the New York Giants Draft an Offensive Linemen in First Round?

April 10th, 2012 at 6:00 AM
By Kyle Langan

Each offseason, fans of every team across the NFL like to project who their respective team(s) will draft come the end of April. Whatever they believe about their teams draft philosophy, absolutely no one knows what players will be available when it comes time for their team to pick.

In 2011, even if every avid follower of the New York Giants was convinced that the teams draft philosophy was to "draft the best player available," almost none could have projected that said player would be Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara.

Sure, players slip each year, and Giants General Manager Jerry Reese loves value. This begs the question: what players will slip in the draft this year? Or better yet, what position will slip?

In studying some recent NFL Draft history, I have some idea as to what position might present the best value for the Giants at the 32 slot. Dating back to 2008, 18 of the 32 NFL teams have selected an offensive tackle in the first round. Not in the draft. In the first round alone. 

This does not include guards and centers. Nearly 60% of the league has spent their top selection on an offensive tackle in the last three years alone. The level of value that these guys have has risen exponentially. I don't expect that to change one bit; tackles are very valuable players in todays pass happy NFL.

That said, no trend lasts forever. There is reason to believe that a number of the teams projected to go the offensive line route in the first round will look elsewhere. The Giants have not gone offensive line in the first round since they took Luke Petitgout out of Notre Dame in 1999. 

Jonathan Martin out of Stanford and Mike Adams out of Ohio State both could be available for the Giants to grab late in the first-round should they choose to end their drought of early selections on offensive linemen.

Adams is a massive 6'7', 323 lbs. The Giants absolutely love to take guys with ridiculous physical tools and allow the coaching staff to mold them. His build could be perfectly suited to play right tackle out somewhere down the line, if not immediately. At minimum, someone his size would have a role as the Giants 3rd tight end whom they love to employ in short yardage situations. Adams had some marquee matchups in college, particularly with Wisconsin's J.J. Watt and Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan. 

His size gave him the advantage he needed against the more physical Watt, while he struggled against a more polished player like Kerrigan. Bear in mind, Watt very easily could (should) have been the defensive rookie of the year in 2011 and Kerrigan absolutely would have been had he gotten to face Kareem McKenzie every week. 

As for Jonathan Martin, he is not pegged as either an elite run or pass blocker but gets the job done well on both ends. Someone had to protect Andrew Luck's blind side all these years at Stanford. The last two seasons Stanford was among the best pass protecting offensive lines in the nation.

The Giants were the worst rushing team in the NFL and they were among the worst in pass protection. Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese will see this as the biggest opportunity to improve the team in 2012. I don't see the 2012 season rolling around without some type of personnel change at either running back of offensive line.


Tags: Andrew Luck, Football, J.J. Watt, Jonathan Martin, Kareem McKenzie, Luke Petitgout, Mike Adams, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Prince Amukamara

19 Responses to “Could 2012 Be the Year the New York Giants Draft an Offensive Linemen in First Round?”

  1.  Dirt says:

    I didn’t actually read the last thread, but I ask this about Jerry Reese:

    If he was in charge in 2004, would he have had the same conviction as Ernie Accorsi about Eli Manning and would he have had the negotiating skills to pull off the trade?

    That’s not to take away from the other 45 or so players on this roster that currently have Reese’s fingerprints all over them (and maybe Reese would have done the same). But what it is is a nod to another GM who quite frankly landed this team the most influential player in one quarter of the team’s all time championships.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Ernie Accorsi: the GM fans loved to hate but who brought us Eli Manning and Jerry Reese. Not too bad as a legacy, especially when you also consider that he drafted John Elway but couldn’t keep him because Elway didn’t want to play for that team.

      A guy who gets John Elway and Eli Manning in one career, and then grooms and promotes Jerry Reese when there were not many black men in NFL management circles, has to go down as a giant among General Managers. Reese, as good as he is, has a long way to go before he equals his mentor.

  2.  Krow says:

    If Cordie Glenn is available … which I doubt … then we should grab him. I believe he’s one of the safest picks in the draft. Very versatile. Plays both OG positions, ROT, and has even had some consideration at LOT. He’s just what the doctor ordered. However I think we won’t get a sniff of him.

    Outside of that I feel that ‘value wise’ we can do better at other positions. Unless someone unexpectedly drops of course.

    • I think someone could unexpectedly drop. When 60% of the league spends their top pick on a tackle over the last 3 years, how long can the run in tackles in the 1st continue? All we need is 1 prospect to slip to shake everything up.

      •  Krow says:

        Exactly. I don’t expect it to happen.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          I’m not sure it will be Glenn but him, Adams or Martin will drop until the end of the first round. I think the key pick that could cause a fall is if Buffalo doesn’t draft an OL, then everyone could drop. A prospect like Massie for team looking for a RT could cause teams to wait until the 2nd round thus causing oe of the higher rated players to fall.

  3.  rlhjr says:

    Below are Giant first round O-line draft picks over the last 27 years.
    Some third rounders were used on O-line between 74 and now.
    So over the last 27 years, the Giants take O-line in the first round about once every 4 years. Well……………3.8 years

    John Hicks, 1974 * OMG
    Gordon King, 1978 * OMG 2.0
    William Roberts, 1984 * Gary Zimmerman & Carl Banks were all first rounders.
    Eric Moore, 1988 * John Elliott 2nd round.
    Brian Williams, 1989
    Luke Petitgout, 1999

    Chris Snee, 2004 * Second round selection *

    Because protection of Eli is paramount, I suspect a third rounder. They need insurance against Eli being beaten up as Frisco did in the playoffs.
    They need to know RT and LG are in good hands.

    I think who ever the pick is will be versital enough to play tackle and guard.
    IMHO they will select an offensive line player between rounds 3 and 5.
    The current offensive line is not a burn unit, but a single key injury could change that in a heart beat.

    •  rlhjr says:

      My bad

      Giant first round O-line draft picks over a 30 year period.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I think the need in OL is based on how we really feel about Petrus and Brewer. Boothe is good enough to be a solid starter as a full time LG and I think the same can be said about Diehl at RT. But is Brewer ready to play if Diehl or Beatty gets hurt? Is Petrus ready be a solid player if called upon? I know many still don’t trust Diehl at LT but as a back up LT really you don’t get much better because we know he can do the job. RT is a projection but if he can survive at LT I can’t see him failing at RT.

        My point being that if Petrus and Brewer can be counted on that gives us 7 pretty good players. OL is then something that’s more likely to be addressed in the middle to late rounds. Also, if we feel Brewer isn’t ready but will be next year then we could re-sign Otah or one of the andrews brothers.

        I think the OL is already better this year just because they have another year or being together and Beatty > McKenzie. Plus Diehl and Snee should be healthier than they were with the injuries they played through.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          I agree. The O-line is not the disaster some imagine. I actually feel pretty good about Petrus and think Brewer and Beatty should be ready to have real impact. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t draft another young player to guide into the mix over the next 24 months.

          Right under the eyes of many the Giants are making the transition to a younger O-line. Their method is clear: draft players who have excellent athletic ability and then coach them up by getting them into Pat Flaherty’s hands. Over the recent past they have gathered Beatty, Petrus and Brewer. They also brought in both Ballard and Hopkins, who made their bones as excellent blockers as tight ends, and now have a chance to add Bennett, a terrific blocker, to that mix. Chris Snee and David Diehl are now the old veterans on the line who know how to carry forward the tradition of coordinated play that Flaherty emphasizes. David Baas is still a question mark but he’s a young veteran who will definitely improve with improved health and a year in the system under his belt. I do not think his athleticism is lacking. He was just too dinged up to be effective last season. Kevin Boothe is who he is: a very good, and savvy, player who won’t wow anyone but who gets his job done well and consistently and can fill in at three positions.

          Having said all that, they have to, and will, keep adding to the depth chart with drafted players. I suspect there will be two rookies (one drafted, one signed as an UDFA) who will be in camp competing for jobs. This O-line is in transition and there are jobs to be won. I suspect Reese will draft someone he thinks can legitimately compete for a starting job well enough to push the presumed incumbent to work as hard as necessary to hold off the competition for another year. That implies a reasonably higher draft pick who is a good athlete. Probably someone they hope can play at least two different positions.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    I suspect that before the fifth round comes around the Giants will have selected BOTH an offensive lineman and a running back. Where in those first five picks (including the comp pick) they are selected I’ve no idea, but I feel pretty confident that both areas will be addressed. I also think both will be selections that are of players who dropped to where they are great values. I think Reese may have to reach a bit on a receiver or a pass rusher or a safety, but will let offensive linemen and running backs come to him.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think WR is deep enough that we don’t have to reach. Pass rusher and Safety are on the surface positions where the talent doesn’t look as deep. I think safety could be a legit need. I think the solution looking at the draft is a conversion of a CB we draft or that’s on out roster to safety. Pass rusher wise I think JR could find a player in the 3rd or 4th round that we could mold.

      I think how early we address RB and OL will illustrate our concern. Our recent patterns do seem to dictate middle round selections for those positions. I feel RB is something we have to address within the first 3 rounds and OL can wait. But JR could feel different, it depends how he views players like Scott & Brewer.

  5.  Krow says:

    My take … unit by unit … of our needs … IMHO of course …
    Special Teams … NONE
    QB … NONE
    OL … unsettled at ROT … Brewer a possible … Diehl shuffle a possible … MODERATE
    TE … depth a concern … MODERATE
    WR … no clear 3rd WR … MODERATE
    RB … fragile Bradshaw is the show … HIGH
    DE … situation is critical … HIGH
    DT … NONE
    LB … complicated … depends on scheme and Goff … LOW
    Safety … Rolle, Philips and not much else … MODERATE
    CB … LOW

    I’d be spending my picks on a DE and a RB since both are areas where we simply don’t have enough bodies. After that I’d rank WR and Safety where we’re thin … then the rest.

    Of course talent can trump need … and that makes sense too.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Good assessment.

      I start from where do the Giants need to make sure they’re strong to continue to make use of their generally strong roster and solid staff while also building for the next 3-4 years?

      Eli needs another target, having lost Mario. I don’t care if that’s a #3 WR or a particularly adept TE who has speed and can catch the ball, but we need one of them.

      One of Osi or Kiwi, or possibly both, will be gone after this season. We absolutely MUST bring in a potentially elite pass rusher because our entire defensive scheme is built on that foundation.

      The defense needs to improve the team’s takeaway ratios. They need safety depth, very much preferably from a ball-hawking safety who can cover but still help against the run in the nickel set.

      The offense must stay balanced in order to maximize Eli’s effectiveness. This requires a potential #1 running back and another young offensive lineman. The back has to be able to play by the second quarter of the season, so he has to be able to protect the passer (no scatback types), run with some power and vision, and as a hopeful add-on, catch the ball out of the backfield fluidly and get turned upfield immediately.

  6.  GetDownWithJPP says:

    Krow- the one i disagree with potentially is DE. I agree this is by far the most important position so in that regard it is high priority, but we have a lot of depth at that position. We would be fine next year if we went into the season with our current depth chart plus potentially a mid round developmental prospect. Remember, Osi, Tuck and Strahan were all 2nd and 3rd round picks and developed to be great DE’s by our coaching staff. That said i’m still firmly on the Chandler Jones in the first bandwagon by the way

    To me I have 2 key questions and want to know who knows the answers to these- 1) has there been discussion/do we think it is likely that Kiwi gets switched to full time DE? My quick thought here is I hope so, because he’s probably better as a DE and DE is a more valuable position so…
    and 2) How has Brewer been developing?

    •  wlubake says:

      Osi and Kiwi are currently scheduled to be UFA’s next season. Thus, only Tuck and the man with whom you are down remain.

      •  wlubake says:

        I fully support drafting a DE, but who knows if decent value will ever fall to us. A later round guy who has shown some flashes, and displays good size/speed measureables, is Jack Crawford out of Penn State.

        6’5″, 275 lbs, 10.25 inch hands, 33.5 inch arms, 4.85 in the 40. He is a grinder who hasn’t yet developed the technique to be a multi-faceted pass rusher, though he shows early promise as a run defender and disrupter knocking down passes. He is a late bloomer, like JPP, with only 5 years of football experience (3 at PSU, 2 in HS). With some development, I think his floor is Tollefson and celing is much higher.

        The only problem is that he has this whole Charlie Villenueva thing going with his lack of eyebrows. Gives me the creeps.

        He could be had in the 5th-6th round range. May drop even more as he had to explain away some drug paraphenelia in his apartment (after he had moved out).

  7.  Krow says:

    I think we’re pretty thin at DE. Tolly is gone, and I doubt they move Kiwi back to the DL. That leaves us with Osi, Tuck and JPP. Three stellar performers … but … we’re all familiar with the Osi drama. If they extend him then it definitely changes things. But right now he’s UDFA in less than a year. Then we’re down to 2 DEs. And Tuck … being real here … does get hurt.

    We have to rush the passer to be successful. That takes 3 talented DEs AND a solid 4th to properly man the rotation.

    I’m fine with scrounging for a Tollefson replacement, but not Osi.

    We need a top flight DE to add to the mix … sooner than later.

  8.  BBWC says:

    I agree with most of Krow’s assessment with one major exception.
    TE position is critical…..High.
    Ballard and Beckum both coming off serious injuries (most likely will be on the PUP list to start the season). Which leaves us with Pascoe and Bennett.

    Bennett is currently listed as our #1 TE. We all know he is a freakish athlete with tons of potential, but has yet to show it on the field. Here is an article him.

    I don’t know about you guys…. but until Bennett proves otherwise…..he is, what he is. I have all the faith in the world in Mike Pope, but there is still alot of concern with Bennett. The Giants gave Bennett a one year deal, meaning they need proof as well.

    Bear Pascoe is listed behind Bennett. Need I say more?

    The rest of the TE’s Hopkins, Purvis and Donnell are all street free agents, with Purvis being the only one who’s seen the field. Purvis has a grand total of 5 catches for 28 yards with the Bucs in 2010. The other two have never seen the field.

    Just as 55 said, Eli needs another target, having lost Mario. A TE with speed that can catch would be perfect. I think we already have a #3 reciever on our roster, one just needs to step up. The question is, which one Jernigan/Bardin/Hixon. It’s time to earn their pay!

    Final thoughts on our current TE status:

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