The Giants have brought in veteran offensive lineman Zach Fulton, who played and started in all 16 games for Houston last year.
Depth on an NFL roster is key, especially on the offensive line.
The Giants realize that and have added a veteran to the mix.
On Thursday, the organization announced the signing of offensive lineman Zach Fulton to a one-year deal. Fulton played and started in all 16 games at right guard for the Texans in 2020 and previously spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs as well.
We have officially signed OL Zach Fulton
— New York Giants (@Giants) March 25, 2021
Fulton carries great experience in this league, having played in 107 total games with 90 starts. This is contrary to much of the Giants offensive line. Both starting tackle Andrew Thomas and starting guard Shane Lemieux are entering their second seasons while Nick Gates has just one full season at the center position under his belt. Offensive guard Will Hernandez is additionally young and entering his fourth NFL season as tackle Matthew Peart is entering his second.
Fulton and Nate Solder will be legitimate veterans on the depth chart — the former is coming up on his age-30 season while the latter is approaching his age-33 campaign.
It’s unclear what Fulton’s role will be. Given his experience along with Hernandez’s struggles, there’s a chance the free-agent pickup could start at one of the guard spots while Lemieux continues to start at the other. However, if the Giants are indeed looking to go young within this position group (hence the recent release of Kevin Zeitler), starting Hernandez would make sense.
Expect Lemieux to start with Fulton and Hernandez undergoing a crucial position battle during the training camp period. The same goes for Peart and Solder at the right tackle position while Thomas retains his role as the starting left tackle.
The Giants could additionally address the offensive line with their No. 11 overall draft pick. Maybe they take Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater or USC guard/tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker to add talent to a position group that must further develop in 2021. The Giants have increased the talent level of the skill-position group, but that obviously won’t matter if Daniel Jones is constantly on his back.
Acquiring an offensive lineman to continue building the level of depth could make sense and be an option that Dave Gettleman weighs prior to the upcoming draft in late April.