One of the biggest shortcomings of the New York Giants' previous regime was its failure to load up on developmental prospects on both the offensive and defensive lines.
The good news is that the current regime, as led by general manager Joe Schoen has realized the importance of having developmental prospects in reserve, so there is always someone waiting in the wings to step in.
At offensive tackle, the Giants have a few prospects, one of whom is Roy Mbaeteka, a hulking 6-foot-9, 320-pound young man who hails from Nigeria. Mbaeteka, who has no high school or college football experience, was "discovered" by former Giants defensive end (Osi Umenyiora as part of his Uprise program, an initiative to uncover budding NFL prospects from Africa.
What He Brings
Mbaeteka was one of three players selected to train at the NFL Academy in London in October and then was chosen as one of 13 players selected to compete for a spot in the 2022 International Player Pathway program. Mbaeteka has done some training with former NFL center LeCharles Bentley, who has trained upcoming offensive linemen at his facility in Arizona.
According to Umenyiora, Mbaeteka reminds him of former Giants right tackle Kareem McKenzie, who was a part of the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl-winning offensive lines.
Five Players on Notice Entering New York Giants Preseason Games
The following players, who thus far have had an unremarkable training camp, need to start showing something if they want to stick around on the Giants' roster.
Seven Things to Watch in New York Giants' Preseason Opener vs. Patriots
The Giants face the New England Patriots in their preseason opener Thursday night. Here is our list of seven things that will be high atop the "must watch" list.
Brian Daboll Focused on Future, Not Past in Upcoming Game vs. Patriots
New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll is focused firmly on the Giants' future and not his past with the Patriots.
"When you see him working, you're going to know what he's about," Umenyiora told Giants.com after Mbaeteka was added to the team's training camp roster.
"He is big, strong, physical, extremely intelligent, very athletic. He's built to play offensive tackle in the league. ... He's very smart, but he's a very athletic player."
Mbaeteka signed a three-year deal worth $2.65 million. His 2022 cap hit includes $207,000 of his $705,000 base salary guaranteed. He does not have a signing bonus or any other frills, so Mbaeteka will count for $705,000 against this year's cap, or 0.3 percent.
The Giants have a roster exemption for Mbaeteka, which means he won't count against any limits. For the next year or two, he will be a developmental prospect and one that the Giants ultimately hope will become the next Jordan Mailata, the hulking Eagles offensive lineman from Australia who came to the NFL via the league's International Pathways Program.
If Mbaeteka develops as projected, he will likely serve as the Giants' swing tackle behind projected starters Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal.