And that ‘All In’ focus must be on the offensive line, which is one of the team’s question marks heading into the 2017 season.
General Manager Jerry Reese can’t overthink this one. Yes, he must trust his draft board, but a closer examination of the Giants’ roster shows that there is a glaring hole on the team’s offensive line.
He can’t reach and take another position. It must be the offensive line. It must be a tackle.
Last year, the Giants‘ offensive line was ranked 24th overall according to FootballOutsiders.com. The Giants decided to not address the line last year both in free agency and the NFL Draft, which was surprising given how much money they spent to address their plethora of needs on defense. Despite adding guard D.J. Fluker this offseason, the Giants still need to add reinforcements on the o-line.
And that means that pick No. 23 must be an offensive tackle.
It isn’t a top-heavy draft for tackles. There isn’t a clear-cut, foundation-of-the-franchise right or left tackle available. What is available is depth and plenty of prospects who project to be starters in the NFL.
Sitting late in the first round, the Giants should be able to grab one of the top tackles such as Alabama’s Cam Robinson, Utah’s Garrett Bolles or Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk. Any of these three can step right in and start, likely at either tackle position. They would provide stability and an immediate infusion of talent.
There could be a trickle down to the selection as well.
The Giants might move Ereck Flowers to right tackle. Entering his third year in the league, Flowers has had his struggles on the left side. With drafting an offensive tackle this year, a move to the right side will stabilize his learning curve, while upgrading the Giants in a position of need.
Consider how the Giants turned around the league’s worst pass defense into a respectable unit last season. And this year, how the Giants upgraded at wide receiver by signing Brandon Marshall, giving them one of the best receiving trios in the league with Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard already in the fold. They are a team built to win now with Eli Manning at quarterback.
There’s talent on both sides of the ball and plenty of star power. The one gaping hole is the offensive line.
The temptation will be there to go after a tight end or perhaps add another pass rusher late in the first round. But the Giants, a playoff team a season ago for the first time since 2011, are not far away from challenging for the division and being in the mix for the Super Bowl. They just can’t do that without beefing up their offensive line.
It might take one pick in the first round to do it, or the Giants might really want to go ‘All In’ and go after a guard in the middle rounds of the draft to add more depth.
What is clear, however, is that at some point, the Giants will need to remedy their issues at the tackle position.