Although the New York Giants have any number of draft options following their massive free agency haul that saw them add depth to nearly every position group, the offensive line—the one position unit that the Giants didn’t address as heavily—is the top projected unit to receive help in the draft, according to PFF’s mock draft data.
The popular analytics website studied millions of mock drafts conducted on its mock draft simulator. When it came to reaching a consensus regarding the Giants' best option at No. 11, the data showed that fans prefer northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater when the team goes on the clock in less than three weeks.
Giants fans are prepared to draft a first-round offensive tackle in back-to-back seasons, opting to grab Rashawn Slater to protect Daniel Jones. There are questions as to whether Slater will be at his best at tackle or inside at guard, but either way, he has the athleticism and tools to be an elite blocker in the NFL.
Of utmost importance to Giants fans, Slater posted the best tape against Chase Young in 2019 among any offensive lineman in college football. That will be critical as the Giants battle the Football Team for the NFC East crown.
Apparently, many fans aren’t buying general manager Dave Gettleman’s sentiments in his video call with the media before the start of free agency in which he vigorously defended the young offensive line that right now appears to have question marks at both guard spots and right tackle.
“We believe in these guys,” Gettleman insisted. “They all came along, and we finished the season fairly strong. … We’re getting there. It’s the old saying, ‘You’ve got to run the ball and you’ve got to obviously be able to protect the passer.’ We’re young and we’re getting better.”
It also doesn’t bother the fans that the Giants devoted three draft picks last year—tackles Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart and guard Shane Lemieux—to the offensive line. While those three all showed promise, only Thomas at left tackle is assured of a starting job, whereas Lemieux and Peart are expected to compete for their starting roles on the line.
The drafting of Slater, who is projected to be able to play both guard and tackle at the next level, would undoubtedly make a lot of sense for the Giants, as they could plug him in at right guard or right tackle if Peart, the leading contender at right tackle, doesn’t make the grade.
And certainly adding more young talent to an offensive line that last year, despite the promise shown, still finished 31st in the league per PFF’s rankings, can’t hurt, especially given the importance of helping quarterback Daniel Jones and the offense to take the next step forward.
Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle was the second most popular consideration for the Giants among the mock drafts run. It’s unclear if that was from data generated before the Giants signed Kenny Golladay and John Ross in free agency.