In 2013, Eli Manning had the worst season of his professional career. He tossed 27 interceptions and looked miserable without an offensive line or any decent receivers. The Giants knew exactly what needed to happen that offseason, and the organization began the process of building an offensive line from scratch. The team has followed the Dallas Cowboys model of building a great offensive line through the draft, and it has worked so far in New York.
Giants Continue to Rebuild the Offensive Line
The process began with the selection of Justin Pugh in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Giants selected Weston Richburg in the second round. Finally, just last season, the Giants selected Ereck Flowers in the first round. These three players are the foundation of an offensive line that could be dominant for years to come. Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg both struggled initially because they were playing at unnatural positions due to the circus that was the Giants offensive line, but this season both players thrived at left guard and center, respectively. Ereck Flowers was thrown into the fire and had to play left tackle immediately after the injury of Will Beatty, but he fought admirably and learned quickly. Obviously he had his struggles, but the future is bright for him. It is clear that the Giants have very legitimate starters at left tackle, left guard, and center.
While the left side of the line looks fantastic, the right side looks miserable because of injuries. Geoff Schwartz and Will Beatty were both cut this week because of the multiple injuries they sustained during the past few seasons. Schwartz was signed as a free agent in 2014, and he was expected to thrive at the right guard position. However, he struggled to stay on the field for New York. He played in 13 of the possible 32 games during his two seasons with the Giants. Will Beatty, on the other hand, played quite well for the Giants at left tackle in 2014. He earned his big contract from 2013 during that season. However, during the summer of 2015, he suffered a torn pectoral injury. He was about to return to the field in November, but he suffered a torn rotator cuff, forcing him to miss the entire season. Many fans expected Beatty to start at right tackle this season despite the injuries, but the Giants decided that he was too risky to keep on a big contract.
Nobody wants to see John Jerry and Marshall Newhouse start on the right side of the Giants offensive line again. That duo was miserable for everybody involved. The Giants struggled to run the ball because the right side couldn’t block and defenses could expect runs to the left side. To avoid this nightmare, the Giants have some work to do this offseason. Drafting a right guard and acquiring a right tackle in free agency would probably be the best case scenario. A right guard like Joshua Garnett would be an excellent second-round addition and a right tackle like Mitchell Schwartz would be a key free agent acquisition. With these two players, the Giants would have an excellent offensive line and one of the best offenses in the league.