New York Giants head coach Joe Judge will have his offensive linemen compete for their depth chart spots ahead of the 2020 season.
Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants organization, once and for all, took it upon themselves to address the offensive line in April’s draft. A move that was long overdue, Big Blue ultimately chose All-American tackle Andrew Thomas in the first round, followed by tackle Matt Peart and guard Shane Lemieux respectively in the third and fifth rounds.
Sure the ballclub now employs some potential long-term pieces, but there are still question marks surrounding the short-term status of the line. The struggling Nate Solder is still on the roster and the solution at center remains unknown.
Training camp will be when a number of questions pair up with their respective answers, and with over a month left until that period’s commencement, head coach Joe Judge is seemingly motivated to discover the solutions.
“We’re really going to let the competition determine where everything falls out,” Judge told Kim Jones of NFL Network. “So we’re going to work all of our tackles both on the left and right. We’ll have a period of time to see through competitive drills, teamwork, scrimmages, and preseason games early on [in order to] best identify [who will start].
“We want to work to all of our strengths and do the best thing for the players, the best thing for the team. We’re really going to let what they do on the field determine that. We do have guys who have played on the left and right sides, so it’s not anything new to any of our guys. We’re going to let them go through training camp and let the competition sort it out.”
If things go as expected, fans will likely see a line that includes Solder at left tackle, Will Hernandez at left guard, Kevin Zeitler at right guard, and Thomas at right tackle. The latter-most individual will eventually find himself on Daniel Jones‘ blindside, but that may be too big of a responsibility for him right now.
The center position will likely play host to a battle between Spencer Pulley, Nick Gates, and Lemieux. There’s also the possibility center Jon Halapio, who’s currently a free agent and rehabbing a torn Achilles, may return as well.
It’s not the best offensive line unit, but it’s certainly progress in terms of improving from last year. The Giants allowed 43 sacks in 2019 after letting up 47 the season prior.
Down the road, this offensive line could encompass Thomas on the left side, Peart on the right, and Lemieux potentially at center. Nonetheless, you still don’t know exactly what you’re going to get out of the latter two individuals, so it’s really tough to determine at this current moment.