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Coaches Corner: Who will play Right Guard?

By Michael Stewart/@TheTruthNYG   

The New York Giants 2021 NFL draft and the UDFA phase is now completed and overall GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Joe Judge did a masterful job working the draft board and making aggressive trades to get the players they wanted. One area that wasn’t addressed was the offensive line; notably the interior line as the Giants didn’t draft any offensive linemen. They did however add two OL during the UDFA phase, but could they be still in the market to add more before the start of training camp? The biggest hole is the Right Guard spot vacated by Kevin Zeitler who was cut prior to free agency. Let’s take a look at the Top 6 options for the Giants heading into training camp.

Current roster candidates

  • Will Hernandez (6’2/330): The Giants can give Hernandez an audition at right guard and have Shane Lemieux anchor the left guard spot or have Hernandez and Lemieux battle it out at left guard and have the best man win. Ultimately I see Hernandez reclaiming his left guard spot over Lemieux who will serve in a backup role.
  • Zach Fulton (6’5/320): Fulton has more experience over Hernandez and Lemieux at the right guard position and will more than likely be given every opportunity to win that spot once training camp begins; that is if they don’t look outside the organization before camp starts.
  • Kyle Murphy (6’3/315): Murphy was a UDFA signee in 2020 and has impressed the Giants Coaching staff with his progression and has a legitimate shot at seeing considerable snaps at the right guard position.

Outside the Organization

  • Trai Turner (6’3/315): Turner makes the most sense for two reasons: 1) he was drafted by Dave Gettleman and 2) he plays RG which is a position of need. Turner is still only 28 years old, but does have good football left in him? If so, then maybe Gettleman will make that call.
  • James Carpenter (6’5/320): Carpenter is not a household name, but he is very familiar with both Joe Judge and Rob Sale during his college days at Alabama. Carpenter played for the Falcons in 2020 and would be more of a depth move if the Giants go in this direction.
  • Austin Reiter (6’3/310): Reiter played for the Chief last season and allowed zero sacks as their center. Current Giants center Nick Gates did a fabulous job in his first year at center, but could move to guard if the Giants felt it was the best move for the team.

Future cuts/waivers

Perhaps the future right guard for the Giants is still on another team as this article is being written? The Giants and every other team will be making additional cuts as we get closer to training camp and I do anticipate some notable names looking for a new home. The Giants have limited cap space and still need to sign their 6 draft picks, so if they do plan on bringing in another body to compete at Right Guard, then they would need to make some cuts on the current roster.