By Michael Stewart@TheTruthNYG

This will be part 6 in a series of 13 as we breakdown the Guard position in the upcoming NFL draft. Again, whatever the Giants decide to do with Evan Neal will determine their course of action at the Guard position. As I mentioned in my previous article, free agency should dictate on what direction the Giants will go based on if they decide to sign an offensive lineman. Here are my top 5 Guards in the 2024 NFL draft.

  1. Graham Barton (Duke) 6’5/315: Barton has played multiple positions along the offensive line as many NFL experts project him to transition to guard. Barton has exceptional hand placement and solid footwork to go along with his ability to block well in space. GM Joe Schoen likes versatility in his offensive lineman, so Barton fits what the Giants are looking for. Projected Late round 1/early round 2.
  2. Cooper Beebe (Kansas State) 6’4/322: Beebe has a blue collar mentality and plays nasty, especially as a run blocker. Beebe plays to the whistle and has enough mobility to excel in open space as a blocker. As a pass protector, Beebe is not where he wants to be, however, he has all the attributes to be a well rounded guard in the NFL. Projected round 2
  3. Christian Haynes (UConn) 6’2/313: Haynes is getting more and more attention as we move closer to the combine and if he can perform well there, he could move up on this list. Haynes possesses high end technique in both hand usage and footwork, with enough strength in his lower half to move out defenders. Projected round 2.
  4. Christian Mahogany (Boston College) 6’3/335: Mahongany is pure power which is evident in the running game. As a pass protector, Mahogany is adequate enough, but needs to improve at the NFL level. The quicker he adjusts to the NFL speed, the better chance he’ll have securing a starting job as a rookie. Projected Round 3.
  5. Zak Zinter (Michigan) 6’6/315: If not for his leg injury against Ohio State, Zinter would have arguably been in the top 3 on my list. Regardless, Zinter has the size, strength, athleticism & technique to be a starting guard in the NFL for the next decade. If his medical report shows a positive outcome, he could go a little higher than projected. Projected round 3.

Unlike the Offensive Tackle position where we could see perhaps 7 tackles taken in the 1st round. The Offensive Guard position might see one going in round 1. This doesn’t take away that there’s no talent at this position as I expect a slew of IOL coming off the board with regularity on Day 2 and 3. The Giants could invest in a guard in free agency and still draft one in day 2 or 3. GM Joe Schoen’s clock is ticking, and he must fix the offensive line with a blend of talented linemen with experience and with youth. Keep an eye out for part 7 in my series of 13 as I discuss my top 5 centers in the 2024 NFL draft in my next article.