As part of The Post’s 2021 NFL Draft preview, we examine what the Giants might do at each position. Sunday: Offensive line.
The Giants took an offensive tackle, Andrew Thomas, with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Could they go offensive lineman again this year in the first round, at No. 11? Sure they could, although at this point it does not seem to be their top priority. Of course, if Penei Sewell of Oregon drops to them (he won’t), that priority will change. The other option to ponder is Rashawn Slater of Northwestern, who many scouts see moving inside to be a killer guard. Slater, if he’s available, must be seriously considered, as he has great positional flexibility and could move in immediately at right tackle. Is Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech) worth the No. 11 pick? That might be a reach.
The Giants took three offensive linemen in last year’s draft and all three are in the plans. Shane Lemieux figures to start at one of the guard spots and this coaching staff is high on Matt Peart, who will be given the first shot at the starting right tackle job. Cutting Kevin Zeitler to create salary cap space means there is no proven guard on the roster — remember, this staff benched Will Hernandez.
As far as depth, the Giants have it at tackle with the return of Nate Solder, a veteran and erstwhile starting left tackle who should provide experienced and capable backup support at both tackle spots — unless he actually outplays Peart and wins the right tackle job. Nick Gates seems safe as the starting center. Jonotthan Harrison has 42 NFL starts, mostly at center, and 84 games played, signed for insurance at the interior line spots. Other than that, there is not much in the way of proven depth. It will be a surprise if the Giants do not take an offensive lineman with one of their first three picks.