2021 NFL Draft: Giants largely struck gold, however this is the one factor they nonetheless want to deal with earlier than season


The New York Giants made out effectively within the 2021 NFL Draft — so effectively that common supervisor Dave Gettleman deserves a few of the highest marks of any personnel chief from over the weekend. Very similar to their fellow NFC East contenders, the G-Males added potential play-makers on each side of the ball, most notably first-round large receiver Kadarius Toney and second-round cross rusher Azeez Ojulari. There’s nonetheless one obtrusive gap to fill earlier than the season, nevertheless, and it was made particularly clear by Massive Blue’s funding (or lack thereof) at a sure place in the course of the draft.

The Giants’ total 2021 offseason has been centered on surrounding third-year quarterback Daniel Jones with expertise. And Gettleman has gone above and past to do exactly that, spending large on former Lions wideout Kenny Golladay, including different veterans like Kyle Rudolph, then bolstering defensive help with signings like Adoree Jackson. He continued within the draft, including Toney as an electrical slot goal, Ojulari as a possible Day One edge presence and different high-upside items like cornerback Aaron Robinson, linebacker Elerson Smith and bruising operating again Gary Brightwell.

However there’s one factor lacking: The offensive line.

If we’re providing instantaneous grades on draft lessons, the Giants handed 2021 with largely flying colours. That is accounting for Gettleman’s sensible trades so as to add a first-, fourth- and fifth-rounder in 2022. And but not a single one in all New York’s six picks this 12 months got here up entrance, the place you’d assume defending Jones is likely one of the membership’s most urgent priorities.

Gettleman downplayed the difficulty after the draft by reiterating help in New York’s present depth chart.

“It is actually obvious that we have now a bit extra confidence in our offensive linemen than you guys do,” the GM stated. “So I am simply going to say we’re pleased with the group that we have now. Clearly you are at all times making an attempt to get higher and you are not going to take a participant simply to take a participant, you are taking a participant since you assume he will enhance the worth of your staff.”

Is he mistaken? No, not essentially when it comes to draft technique. But when that mentality bleeds into the remainder of their preseason plans, they will be banking a bit an excessive amount of on spare-part depth. Left deal with Andrew Thomas flashed as a rookie, however this is the remainder of the lineup, from left to proper: Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates, Zach Fulton or Will Hernandez and Matt Peart, with Nate Solder again from his COVID opt-out at deal with. That is satisfactory, maybe, however nobody’s writing dwelling about it. Now simply think about if a number of blockers go down in the course of the season. Jones might have Toney and Golladay and everybody else at his disposal, however he additionally wants bodyguards.

The Giants’ greatest probability at bettering up entrance got here within the draft at No. 11, from which they traded to gather future picks. They may’ve simply added a deal with or guard on Day Two. However neither of these issues occurred. Whereas including a top-tier reserve or starting-caliber lineman is quite a bit simpler stated than executed at this level, it is clear New York should proceed exploring the place till kickoff. Once more, did they ace draft weekend? You possibly can actually argue that. And this offseason they’ve undoubtedly taken steps to return to the playoff hunt in 2021. However they nonetheless need assistance up entrance, no matter what Gettleman says, and whether or not that assist comes through free company or commerce, it’d behoove them to get some between now and September.



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