The New York Giants made a surprise run to the NFC playoffs a season ago, but expectations are much higher heading into 2023. However, the Giants also have a much more difficult schedule to deal with this season. Does their offensive line depth chart have what it will take to protect Daniel Jones enough to keep him comfortable?
New York Giants OL Depth Chart
Giants’ Left Side of the Offensive Line
After a disappointing rookie season on the left side of the Giants’ offensive line, Andrew Thomas has been nothing but outstanding for the team. He’s allowed just five sacks over the past two NFL seasons and has improved as both a run and pass-blocker in each of his three years. Thomas’ efforts even earned him second-team All-Pro honors last season.
The most interesting position on the team is left guard. Last season, five different players started a game at LG for the Giants.
Nick Gates is a Washington Commander now, but the other four players that started on the left side all remain on the roster. Ben Bredeson appeared to be the team’s favorite at the position a season ago, but New York certainly didn’t use the 67th overall pick on Joshua Ezeudu to watch him twiddle his thumbs on the bench. However, he struggled in limited action as a rookie.
Bredeson probably has a leg up in the competition, but the best thing for New York would be for Ezeudu to progress from where he was a season ago and win the starting job.
New York’s Center
The Giants are going to count on rookie center John Michael Schmitz here whether he’s ready to play at the NFL level or not. They don’t really have a choice in the matter.
But at the end of the day, that’s why a team takes a center in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. It won’t be easy, but at least he’ll get a good look at just how difficult it will be when he faces his own defensive line during training camp.
“Yeah, looking to just continue to get better each and every day against him,” Schmitz said of Dexter Lawrence. “Being able to compete against one of the best there is. Tremendous opportunity to have that.”
Right Side of the Giants’ OL
Mark Glowinski started every game for New York last season, and he’s played over 1,000 offensive snaps in three of the past four. Nobody is mistaking Glowinski for The Incredible Hulk on the right side, but dependability and continuity are so important on the offensive line.
For Evan Neal, it’s a big year. He struggled as a rookie on the right side after playing on the left side for Alabama the prior year.
“Nothing is a surprise now,” Neal told the media about Year 2 in the NFL. “I know what to expect. I know what an NFL-level game is. Just doing what I can to go out there and perform and play well. So, it’s definitely good that I got the experience that I did last year, carrying it over into this season.”
Do the Giants Have Enough Depth To Survive Injuries?
Tyre Phillips joined the team in 2022 from Baltimore and ended up starting five games for the Giants last year (four at RT and one at LT). The former third-round pick has seen a lot of action over his three-year career playing on injury-riddled offensive lines.
While he hasn’t been a world-beater, that experience is a nice safety net for the Giants should one of their two offensive tackles go down. And although Phillips has limited experience on the left side, he’s played both LT and LG over the past two seasons. He even played nearly 300 snaps at RG as a rookie, so Phillips provides emergency depth at four positions potentially.
Matt Peart is another player for New York with somewhat extensive experience for a backup. But as with Phillips, Peart hasn’t been a world-beater for the Giants over that time, even as a tackle prospect that was developmental.
Even if Ezeudu can’t crack the starting lineup, he must provide value as a depth piece on the offensive interior. Because it’s unlikely that the offensive line thrives if forced to rely on J.C. Hassenauer or Shane Lemieux for an extended period.