NY Giants Draft Preview: Good Year for Guards

BY Adam Nardelli

Connor McGovern

Connor McGovern, a senior out of the University of Missouri, is a versatile offensive line prospect.  He possesses almost abnormal strength (squatted a record 690 pounds at Missouri), which is one of the main reasons why NFL scouts project him as a guard at the NFL level.  His shorter arms also translate better to playing guard. 

However, McGovern has experience playing both right and left tackle from his time at Missouri.  In particular, he started all 12 games of the 2015 season at left tackle.   With his background playing tackle, the Giants could draft him as a guard with the possibility of him moving to one of the tackle positions at some point.  The bottom line is McGovern would give the Giants an interior offensive lineman who could immediately open up holes in the run game, helping to give Eli Manning a dependable ground attack.  McGovern is projected as a 3rd-4th round pick according to CBS Sports.

Sebastian Tretola

Tretola’s projected position at the next level is not in flux, unlike McGovern.  A senior out of the University of Arkansas, he undoubtedly projects as a guard, which would help the Giants have a better grasp of where he’ll be playing if they should draft him. 

He started at left guard for the Razorbacks the last two seasons, and was largely described as an immovable object.  At 6’6 and 314 pounds, he possesses ideal size and strength at the guard position.  He comes from an old-school power run scheme at Arkansas, and would immediately add value to the Giants offensive line with his ability to be an asset in the run game.  He completely takes out defenders from the play when he locks out his arms and moves well in space for a guy of his size.  He also has a knack for blocking well on screens, which could help the Giants produce more big plays with screens to guys like Shane Vereen and Odell Beckham.

Tretola’s value is increased when taking into account his experience blocking first-round SEC caliber defensive lineman.  He had more than his share of success against a defensive line draft class looked at as having more talent and depth than we’ve seen in decades.

One concern is Tretola having to play in Junior College in 2013 due to off-the-field issues, but the Arkansas staff speaks positively of him.  At this point his character doesn’t seem to be a concern, but the Giants will of course take a deep look into his background if they’re considering him.  Tretola is projected as a 3rd round pick according to CBS Sports. – Tretola’s game tape vs Toledo.  He is not highlighted specifically on each play, so keep an eye on #73 at left guard.  He’s not hard to spot. 

Isaac Seumalo

A redshirt junior out of Oregon State, Seumalo is similar to McGovern due to the versatility he provides.  He started all 12 games for Oregon State in 2015, with nine games at right guard and three games at left tackle.  At 6’4 and 303 pounds, Seumalo has the size and physical characteristics needed to play in the interior part of the line at the NFL level. 

He possesses strong natural strength and impressive mobility for a guy with his size.  His strength defends well against bull rushes in pass protection, which will help keep the pocket from collapsing for Eli.  His technique, knee bend when blocking, and core flexibility all signal to NFL teams that he is pro ready. 

The fact that he missed the 2014 season due to a broken foot could be an issue the Giants see in him, with lack of playing time.  While adding a draft pick with injury problems is the last thing the Giants need, he showed he was able to put the foot injury behind him after he started all 12 games this past season.  His shorter arms also make him a better prospect at guard, but his experience playing tackle where at times he exhibited quick foot speed adds to his upside.

The bottom line is Seumalo is a talented prospect who can immediately make an impact at guard due to his strength and technique.  Whether or not he could play tackle in the NFL is hard to determine, but he’s more than worth a look as a guard prospect in the middle rounds.  Currently he is projected as a 5th round pick according to CBS Sports.