The Giants doubled down on attempts to fix their offensive line by adding UConn right tackle Matt Peart (pronounced PAYRT) with the No. 99 overall pick of the draft.
Peart, a Bronx, New York native by way of Kingston, Jamaica, is 6-foot 5 and 300 pounds. Peart focused on basketball until he reached high school when he switched to football.
A four-year starter at Uconn, Peart started all 48 games, 24 on the left side, and 24 on the right side! With head coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman talking about the importance of versatile lineman, Peart had to have been a natural choice for the Giants.
Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy once compared Peart to D’Brickashaw Ferguson. And speaking of the Senior Bowl, I had the pleasure of talking to Peart there; he was a very cordial, well-spoken, respectful young man. He played admirably in the practices but was exposed against some of the better pass rushers.
A natural athlete, with excellent bend/flexibility, Peart utilized quick feet and good mirroring ability, combined with his incredible length, to maximize his ability to pass protect.
His foot-speed allows him to combat speed rushers up the pass-rushing arc, while his length gives him room to compensate for mistakes.
Peart must lower pad level, become more consistent with his hand technique, and add strength at the point of attack. I didn’t see too much balance issues on tape, but his lack of strength/anchor gets exposed when his pad level does rise.
I would like to see him strike with better placement on the breastplate of defenders while adding some more pop to his punches. There’s a lot of room for improvement/development in these areas.
His anchor is adequate, but will get bullied/exposed by strong NFL defensive ends; he just needs a bit more strength at the point of attack, and lower leg drive in the run game.
I believe the concerns with his game may limit his effectiveness in 2020, but he’s still a player with a very high ceiling if Marc Colombo can develop and maximize his incredible physical gifts.
Peart will be a good pass protector if he can add strength; his feet, athletic ability, bend, and length will really help him in this area. But to make him a good starter in this league, he has to clean up the deficiencies that I mentioned earlier: better hand technique, cleaner footwork in pass sets, more strength at the point of attack in the run game, and a better anchor in pass protection.
If he improves and develops on some of these key points, then he could be a homerun at 99.
For what it's worth, drafting a developmental tackle with one of your three top 100 picks may be seen as a luxury selection, and you always have to consider the opportunity cost of drafting a player like Peart, after taking Andrew Thomas in the first.
Passing on players like Oregon’s Troy Dye and App State’s Akeem Davis-Gaither aren’t easy choices, but the Giants added a versatile weapon at 36 for the defensive side of the football in Xavier McKinney.
The centers also flew off the board, and a lot of the talented receivers were gone too, so the Giants went with the high upside pick, with a coaching staff that prides itself on teaching. I like the upside of the selection; now it’s time to get Peart ready for professional football.