Shane Lemieux, Andrew Thomas
Syndication: The Record

The bar is low for the Giants offensive line.

That’s what happens when fixing the unit has been a colossal failure for a decade. The team has been stuck in a vicious cycle thanks to bad move after bad move by former general managers Dave Gettleman and Jerry Reese — the signing of tackle Nate Solder, the drafting of tackle Ereck Flowers, et cetera.

Thing may finally be looking up for this offensive line though. Even if the unit has yet to prove anything on the field. So much so that ESPN predicts a significant improvement for the group. It has projected the Giants as the 20th-best offensive line (again, the bar is low) for the upcoming season based on its predicted pass block and run block win rates.

From ESPN:

Projected starters: Andrew Thomas, Max Garcia, Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski, Evan Neal


Predicted pass block rank: No. 30
Predicted run block rank: No. 4

Thomas embodies the absolutely massive run/pass split here. The former fourth overall pick has ranked in the top 10 in RBWR in each of his first two seasons, while simultaneously finishing below average in pass protection.

Glowinski, a new Giant this year, fits the mold to a lesser degree, too. He was 11th in run blocking and 34th in pass blocking among guards last season.

First of all, the projected starting lineup is wrong. Garcia won’t start at left guard — it’s currently unclear if he’ll even make the 53-man roster. Expect Shane Lemieux, a 2020 fifth-rounder coming off a knee injury, to start at left guard. The rest of the projected starters should be correct.

The predicted pass block rank of No. 30 is troubling, considering how the NFL has become such a passing league. Combine that with what head coach Brian Daboll will try to get out of quarterback Daniel Jones in a make-or-break season and you start to lose confidence in how Big Blue will be able to move the ball.

But the reason the Giants shoot up to No. 20 overall is because of the predicted run block rank of No. 4. Obviously it would be nice to see the Giants formulate an effective run game for the first time since 2012, the last season in which they even finished in the top half of the league in rushing.

The hope is an interior of Lemieux, Feliciano, and Glowinski (which replaces a 2021 revolving door due to various injuries) will help lead to Saquon Barkley re-discovering his 2018 rookie year form (he led the league with 2,028 scrimmage yards that year).

ESPN also has the Jets offensive line ranked at No. 24. This isn’t promising considering the confidence already instilled in the unit.

Projected starters: Mekhi Becton, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, Alijah Vera-Tucker, George Fant

Predicted pass block rank: No. 21
Predicted run block rank: No. 28

Becton is the weak link here in pass protection, at least in the model’s opinion. The former first-rounder started his career hot in the metric during his rookie season, but his performance dropped off as the year went on, and then the model dings him for having barely played in 2021.

Tomlinson is a nice addition at left guard who should help in the pass game (14th in PBWR among guards in 2021).

As of right now, Becton will be the right tackle while the veteran Fant performs on the blindside.

It’ll all come down to how the tackles fare. An interior of Tomlinson, McGovern, and Vera-Tucker could be one of the NFL’s best. But Becton (16 missed games last year due to a knee injury) and Fant (coming off offseason knee surgery) must stay healthy to help maximize the offense’s talent.

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Ryan Honey is a senior NFL analyst, betting writer, and podcaster for Elite Sports NY. He hosts the Wide Right Podcast, which serves as both a New York Giants podcast and sports betting show.