The New York Giants may pursue Oakland Raiders’ offensive tackle Menelik Watson in free agency.
The New York Giants have found the 2017 offensive tackle free agent class far too rich for their liking so far.
Projected targets Andrew Whitworth and Russell Okung got hefty deals on the open market. Whitworth received a three-year, $36 million deal from the Los Angeles Rams while Okung got a four-year, $53 million pact from the San Diego Chargers.
However, Big Blue may have zeroed in on a much cheaper option. The team has reportedly expressed interest in Oakland Raiders’ free agent tackle Menelik Watson, according to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News.
Giants have expressed interest in former Raiders T Menelik Watson, per source. Just preliminary talks so far.https://t.co/k844nnBWr4
— Seth Walder (@SethWalderNYDN) March 10, 2017
The 28-year old Watson is a former 2013 second-round draft choice out of Florida State. He stands at a massive 6-foot-5 and 315-pounds, but has been largely underwhelming for his high draft status since he entered the league. The oft-injured Watson has yet to a play a full 16 game schedule in his three-year NFL career.
Last season Watson played in 10 games, starting five of them. Per Pro Football Focus in 328 snaps played he earned a pass blocking grade of 48.4 and a run blocking mark of 55.4. Watson’s overall PFF grade came in at 49.4 for 2016.
Those aren’t great numbers by any means and are only slightly better than what the Giants already have. Current left tackle Ereck Flowers finished last year with an overall PFF mark of 48.4.
Perhaps the Giants truly do envision a switch to right tackle for Flowers, as Watson does have experience at left tackle. Flowers has always excelled at run blocking, but has struggled mightily in pass protection. Last season saw him produce an awful 39.4 pass blocking grade with 59 quarterback pressures.
Watson wouldn’t be a massive upgrade, but could be worth a look giving the Giants’ current offensive line situation. If New York does pick up Watson, don’t expect them to be done adding lineman this offseason.
The Denver Broncos have signed Menelik Watson to a three-year deal:
Broncos reach 3-year deal with RT Menelik Watson. Former Raider has been in building all day touring facilities. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 10, 2017