Matt Peart is one of the most interesting homegrown success stories on the New York Giants roster. Peart was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to The Bronx when he was a child, where he would stay until he earned a scholarship to Governor’s Academy in Massachusetts.
At the time of his enrollment, Peart had never played organized football. At Governor’s Academy, Peart started playing in his freshman year and would win four consecutive championships playing on both sides of the trenches.
Peart would commit to playing for the UConn Huskies, where he would redshirt his freshman season before starting 48 consecutive games at both offensive tackle spots. In 2020, Peart would head to Mobile, Alabama, to participate in the Senior Bowl before the NFL Draft.
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In the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Giants would draft Peart with the 99th overall pick, eyeballing him to be their right tackle of the future.
Unfortunately, that's where the dream ends, and the nightmare begins. Peart strained his back working out as a rookie, and when he came to camp, he could not beat out veteran Nate Solder for the starting job.
Still, Peart appeared in 11 games in his rookie campaign (2020) and showed some flashes of promise. However, in 2021, despite appearing in 15 games (mostly in spot duty), Peart saw his NFL world come crashing down around him when he suffered a late-season torn ACL that put his 2022 campaign in grave danger.
What He Offers
On the field, Peart is more of an athlete than a refined tackle product at this point, which is unsurprising given that before the NFL, he only had experience in high school and at UConn, which isn’t exactly known for producing NFL offensive linemen (shoutout to Will Beatty, though).
Peart hasn't had it easy. Even since joining the Giants, he's had four offensive line coaches. And as previously mentioned, he's had some injury issues--the strained back and now the ACL--get in the way of his development.
But let's talk about what Peart does well and what he doesn't. In pass protection, Peart has run into his fair share of struggles since getting to the NFL while also showing flashes of what he could put together. In his career, Peart allows pressure on 6.7 percent of his pass-blocking snaps.
That number isn’t bad, but the problematic part is that Peart could go multiple games without allowing any pressures but also had multiple games in 2021 where he allowed four pressures.
Pass-blocking is typically the hardest part for a player to learn properly since technique is more important than it is in run-blocking, where strength or athleticism can hide some deficiencies.
As a run-blocker, Peart has done a good job throughout his career and should find more success in Brian Daboll’s offensive scheme, where he will likely be put in space more often, allowing him to use his athleticism to his advantage.
Peart has been a blocker for the field goal and extra point units on special teams.
Peart signed a four-year deal worth $4.329 million. He has $832,292 in guaranteed money. If the Giants were to cut Peart at this point, there would be a dead cap penalty of $416,146 while clearing up $770,427 in 2022.
Peart will account for .57% of the Giants salary cap in 2022, with his cap hit of $1,186,573. That low number should keep him from being a salary cap casualty this season, where he's expected to start the year on the PUP list.
Peart's knee injury will likely have him start the first six weeks on the PUP list. When he's ultimately healthy, the Giants have some choices to make. Do they give Peart another chance, or do they roll with draft picks Joshua Ezeudu and Marcus McKethan, drafted by the current regime, instead?
The fact remains that Peart is an upside tackle that has proven his ability to step in either tackle spot without being a complete liability. A depth swing tackle that has shown he could play as an extra lineman in jumbo formations is welcome on any team. But Peart needs to stay healthy and show that he's a better option than the two rookies drafted this year.
Our guess is Peart sits on the PUP list this year and gets another chance to compete next summer. He has the length and skills that teams like in a tackle, but until he puts it all together, his future with this team is murky at best.