New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman needs to add a top offensive tackle to the roster via the draft or free agency.
Judging by the numerous issues within the New York Giants organization over the past few seasons, it’s safe to say general manager Dave Gettleman is on the hot seat. He’ll need to make decisions regarding the many needs this roster possesses, one of which is at offensive tackle.
Fortunately, there are several prospects at that position that may go in the top half of the NFL Draft’s first round. There are additionally two potential free agents that could help bolster the offensive line.
Here’s a look at the best offensive tackle prospects in both free agency and the draft.
Top prospects in free agency
Anthony Castonzo has spent his first nine seasons in the league as the Indianapolis Colts left tackle. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s one of the best in the NFL in terms of pass-blocking. PFF gave him an 84.4 grade which ranked sixth among tackles.
He’s been relatively healthy too, starting 132 out of a possible 144 games. The 6-foot-7 307-pound Castonzo will turn 32 in August. He still has a few productive years in front of him though.
Jack Conklin was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2016 draft and has been a starting tackle for the Tennessee Titans ever since. He was a first-team All-Pro his rookie year, and with the exception of 2018 when he missed seven games due to knee injuries and a concussion, he’s never missed a start.
Conklin — who will turn 26 in August — was a key component of the dominant Titans offensive line this past season. At 6-foot-6 and 308 pounds, he’ll be one of the most sought-after free agents.
Top prospects in the draft
The division-rival Redskins may take dominant edge rusher Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick. Thus, here’s a list of offensive tackles that could be available for the Giants at No. 4 to combat that selection. That’s, of course, if the Giants stay at their current spot in the draft order.
Measurements for the top OTs in the 2020 NFL Draft pic.twitter.com/vzg7icSvmd
— PFF (@PFF) February 25, 2020
Andrew Thomas – Georgia
Georgia’s Andrew Thomas may just be the most versatile offensive tackle in the upcoming draft. During his freshman campaign in 2017, he played right tackle for the Bulldogs and was named to the Freshman All-American team. He switched to left tackle in his sophomore season and would be named first-team All-SEC in both 2018 and 2019. He was additionally a unanimous All-American in 2019.
Having been a three-year starter in the SEC will make the 6-foot-5, 315-pound Thomas ready for the physical grind of the NFL. He should be high on Gettleman’s draft board.
Mekhi Becton – Louisville
The 6-foot-7, 364-pound Mekhi Becton is the largest player that attended the NFL Combine. He shocked everyone when he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.11 seconds and measured out to have only 17% body fat. After starting 10 games as a freshman in 2017, he became a full-time starter in 2018. Becton was named first-team All-ACC in 2019.
FWIW: Louisville’s 6-foot-7, 364-pound OT Mekhi Becton, the largest player at this week’s Combine in Indianapolis, got measured with a mere 17 percent body fat.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 28, 2020
His size and athleticism are exactly what the Giants need to anchor the offensive line and protect Jones’ blindside. We all know how Gettleman loves “hog mollies,” so Becton is definitely a possibility for the Giants in the first round.
Jedrick Wills – Alabama
The 6-foot-4, 312-pound Jedrick Wills’ athleticism was on display at the combine. The Alabama product ran a 5.05 in the 40-yard dash. He appeared in 11 games throughout his freshman season in 2017 and helped the Crimson Tide win the National Championship.
Wills started all 15 games at right tackle in 2018. He then started all 13 games the following season and was named first-team All-SEC. The fact that he’s been coached by Nick Saban for the last three years would put him on Joe Judge’s radar. Judge was a special teams assistant at Alabama from 2009-11.
Tristan Wirfs – Iowa
The No. 4 overall pick may have initially been too high to take Tristan Wirfs prior to the NFL Combine. But his impressive performance in Indianapolis certainly changed that narrative. The Iowa product set a record for offensive linemen with a 36.5-inch vertical and tied the broad jump record with a 10-foot-1-inch mark. He also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds, which is the fastest in combine history for a player who weighed at least 320 pounds.
Notable Scouting Combine OL Records
Iowa OL Tristan Wirfs
Highest Vertical – 36.5”
Longest Broad Jump – 10’1” (tied)
40-Yard Dash – 4.85 (fastest by player 320+ pounds or more)
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) February 29, 2020
As a true freshman in 2017, Wirfs started seven games at right tackle and made steady improvements. At the end of his junior season in 2019, he was named first-team All-Big Ten. He additionally won the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year Award.
General managers and coaches put more of an emphasis on game film rather than the combine. But after what the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Wirfs accomplished this week, his draft stock is mightily improving.