New York Giants Mailbag: Questions Galore About The Offensive Line

The decision not to draft offensive line dominates this week's mailbag.
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Do the Giants have a second-round pick ( their own ) in 2022? Is that guard from Univ. of Rhode Island ( Kyle Murphy ) still with the Giants? I saw a 'depth chart," and his name did not appear. I know he had earned some praise from Giants coaches last year. – Ted M.

Hi Ted. Yes, Kyle Murphy is still with the Giants (see the roster page on their website). And yes, the Giants have all seven of their 2022 picks next year.

I could not help but respond to Joe Judge’s recent comment which, in effect, he said there are no plug-and-play offensive linemen. Did I misunderstand his comment?

As an aside, why has no one mentioned that the Giants passed on Fields when it has been reported that several scouts had him ranked as the best of the group? IMO there is no way DJ is close to Fields, who is a much better gamble. – Bruce M.

Hi Bruce. I'm not sure what quote exactly you're referencing, but I went back to look at the transcripts after the draft picks were made. I think I found the quote you're referring to--and it was about Kadarius Toney, who has only played receiver for about 3.5 years. .

He said the following:

Look, every pick in this draft is a projection. There's not a single player who is NFL ready. Let's not make that mistake. Everybody here needs development and part of the evaluation is identifying how high their ceiling is. ... Like every rookie coming in here, they've got to earn what they get and we're going to work them multiple positions to find their strengths. We can't assume what we saw on college tape is the best fit for them.

I don't see anything wrong with what Judge said there. If you're referencing another quote, please send me a link as I want to read or hear the question and the full answer in context before I comment.

As for your second question, I remember when the Giants drafted Daniel Jones ahead of Dwayne Haskins, some went ballistic because the Giants passed on Haskins, who the "scouts" said was the better prospect. I also remember people going crazy when the Giants didn't draft Sam Darnold. 

To be clear, I’m not saying Justin Fields is the next Dwayne Haskins or Sam Darnold. The point is that not all media scouts are on the same page as the NFL scouts regarding player evaluation and that's due to there being so much more information available to the NFL community.

As for Jones, maybe he'll be just fine now that they’ve added more playmakers and settled down the coaching situation on the offensive line. I can remember when people wanted to ship Eli Manning out of here when he struggled early in his career, and now every so often, I get letters from those same people asking if Eli will come back. So you never know, right? 

There are no more built-in excuses for Daniel, so let's see what he does this year. I hope he succeeds as I'd hate to see this tam have to start over yet again.

Some people have said, "We took three offensive linemen last year. How many do we need?" How many do we need to draft, I think, is a fair question. Let's face it; the real problem is that the Giants were 31st in points scored and in yards gained last year.

Does it surprise anyone that while their receivers were ranked in the middle of the pack, that Jones was in the 20s, and that the o-line was ranked 31st? I know I don't have all of the answers, but maybe this can shed some light on why so many fans feel frustrated after the draft. – Steven P.

What’s up, Steven? Look, I, too, was banging the drum for more offensive linemen, and the only reason I went away from it is that my job was to relay what I thought would happen in the draft, not what I wanted to happen.

And speaking of beating the drum, I address a lot of these points in my look at the offensive line (the video above was the topper for that piece, so you can get a bit of a sneak peek into my thought process).

I’ve raised several arguments based on this team's prior thinking and history to why I would have gone offensive line. Yes, O-linemen get hurt, but sometimes you can get these guys to last a while--look at how the Giants' o-line from 2007-10 held up. 

I'm more concerned about having talent in the pipeline since four guys are finishing their contracts after this year, and I doubt all four are back.

Lastly, to be fair, Gettleman did say they had their eye on a couple of guys but that those guys were drafted before the Giants went on the clock. If you look at how Joe Judge answered questions about the offensive line, he doesn’t exactly sound content, nor should he be.

And I'd also like to remind people that there are a couple of additional opportunities coming up to add players, specifically the post June 1 cuts and the post training camp cuts. So let's let the entire process play out as that will tell us a lot of about what the team really thinks about what they have at all the positions.

With the Giants drafting defensive players for Patrick Graham's style of defense, what happens to those players if Graham accepts a head coaching job next year? 

Also, if Urban Meyer was so desperate to draft Toney, why didn't he trade up to 20 with the Giants? We were already well-stocked at receiver before the pick. We could have taken Barmore at 25. – Pat R.

Hi Pat. My guess is if the Giants lose Patrick Graham, Joe Judge could promote someone from the staff to be the new defensive coordinator to keep the continuity going. 

This is a passing league and you NEVER have enough receivers. Look back at the last couple of years at the games the Giants receivers missed due to injury. If heaven forbid Golladay (whom I'll remind everyone has a per game roster bonus in the first year only of his Giants contract) has any issues with his hip, the Giants are right back to square one.

I would also say that if the Giants had a higher grade on Barmore, then I think they would have taken him at No. 20 ahead of Toney. It was clear they saw Toney as the better value at No. 20 and they didn't want to risk losing him by getting too cute with another trade down. 

Dave Gettleman said Giants management thinks a lot more highly of the Giants offensive line than the press. Does he have good reason to think the way he does? – John L.

John, in the video above, which is part of this article, I outlined why I think the Giants feel good about the offensive line. I think that between the settling of coaching and the fact that everyone has a year’s worth of experience both as a unit and in this system is fueling the hope expressed. I personally still have concerns about the future of the depth, but if they share that opinion, they're not willing to admit it. 

What do you suspect about the rumble between Judge and Columbo during the season that has been clarified by the coaching shifts and the lack of a O-line draft choice? And what do you know about the relationship between Gettleman, Mara, and Judge, and what do you suggest about Jason Garret's situation that you did not know two weeks ago? -- @BlackBanjoTony

Tony, I don't understand the first part of your question. I'm really not sure what the Judge-Colombo squabble has to do with anything. Judge wants certain players for his team and I would think if Rob Sale and Judge share opinions on offensive line play, nothing has really changed. 

Simply put, the Giants didn't draft an offensive lineman because they didn't think they got good value when they came up on the clock or they had a higher grade on another player. It's that simple. 

Again, Gettleman mentioned there were a couple of O-linemen they were eyeballing who got picked before they went on the clock. So it doesn't sound to me that they didn't give any thought to drafting an offensive lineman.

As for the second part of your question, nothing has changed about what I know about anything within the organization and how it runs. If anything, my theories about how things work between Gettleman, Judge, and the coaches have been reinforced based on what information has come out.

And I'm not sure what you mean about "Jason Garrett's situation." Unless I missed something--and please let me know if I am--there is currently no existing "situation." 

With 3/4 of the Giants' 2021 draft going defense, does general manager Dave Gettleman believe the OL play not just improves but improves dramatically this season?--@JohnSpielman

John, I think that is the hope. However, both Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge have said that they’re always looking to upgrade at every position. 

I’m pretty sure that the offensive line isn’t a completed project and that no one is resting on their laurels regarding this unit. And for what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure quality veterans are going to be cut after training camp, and the Giants will be watching the waiver wire very closely for additional help if they need it.

Are you buying into Giants' belief that they have enough on the OL? -- @summerman1

Nope, and I wrote as much in an article in which I examined the offensive line as part of my post-draft questions series. 

If the season started today, what would you guess the starting o-line would be? --@DougSinton

What’s up, Doug? From left to right, my guesses would be as follows: Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates, Will Hernandez, and Matt Peart.

Who are some UDFAs you’re intrigued about as well as some vet FAs? --@Kericfoster

Hey there, Keric. I don’t know if you caught Thursday’s LockedOn Giants podcast, but David Turner really talked up center Brett Heggie as a prospect. David did a lot of work on Heggie, so I'm intrigued. 

I recommend checking that podcast out if you haven’t done so already as David really went into some terrific detail on Heggie and all the UDFAs reported to be signing with the Giants. 

I'm also curious to see how Kyle Murphy has come along--he was an UDFA from last year that turned a few heads.

Does the pick of Aaron Robinson indicate that maybe they are looking to get out of the Logan Ryan contract next season? Also, do you think the Giants made a mistake not targeting offensive lineman Trey Smith in the sixth round? —nievesmartir

What’s going on, Oscar? I don't think the selection of Robinson has anything to do with Logan Ryan. Robinson is a slot cornerback, so if anything, Darnay Holmes might be more affected than anyone. 

And if reports about there being concerns about Trey Smith’s medical history are correct—he was reported to have had blood clots in his lungs—then no, I don’t think they made a mistake. 

I don't know the full details about Smith and what kind of treatment he's been on, but I do know that typically people with blood clots are usually prescribed blood thinners. 

I would think it might be dangerous to play contact sports if you're on blood thinners since there is a risk for bruising or bleeding. But I'm not a doctor so I don't know what limitations people on blood thinners have other than I believe they can't eat leafy greens.

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