By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: Continuing with our prospect spotlight for the 2019 NFL draft; we shift our focus to the offensive tackle position. This year’s draft has some depth at this position; which favors the Giants who desperately need to add talent along their offensive line. So if GM Dave Gettleman is looking for some talent at the tackle position, he’ll have plenty of options to choose from:
- Jonah Williams (Alabama) 6’5/301: Williams is currently ranked 1st among the tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Williams can play both tackle positions, so it’s unclear where he will end up. Williams has great footwork and uses his hands effectively against edge rushers. Body frame could handle additional weight without hurting his athletic ability.
- Trey Adams (Washington) 6’8/316: Adams is currently ranked 2nd among the tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Adams has had two solid seasons at left tackle for the Washington Huskies and displays excellent footwork and solid technique defines his makeup.
- Greg Little (Ole Miss) 6’6/325: Little is currently ranked 3rdamong the tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Little has the length, size and mobility to play left tackle in the NFL. Little is more polished than some of the prospects on this list; which is why I’m a little surprised he’s not rated higher. Very reliable and plays with a mean streak could be a mid to late day one pick or early day two selection.
- Cody Ford (Oklahoma) 6’5/335: Ford is currently ranked 4thamong the tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Ford has played left guard in 2017, but is scheduled to play right tackle in 2018. Very gifted lineman who has the combination of strength and mobility. Not sure if he will move to guard at the next level, but for now he’s rated as a tackle.
- Michael Deither (Wisconsin) 6-5/310: Deither and Edwards give the Badgers a top of the line bookends at the tackle position. Deither ‘s thick frame along with his solid technique gives him the advantage to win the one on one battles in the trenches.
- David Edwards (Wisconsin) 6’7/315: Edwards is currently ranked 6th among the tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Edwards is your prototypical Wisconsin offensive lineman. He’s big, strong and plays equally well against the run and in pass protection. His long arms and strong hands gives him a big advantage against edge rushers.
- Bobby Evans (Oklahoma) 6’5/301: Evans is currently ranked 7th among the tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Evans could be the best of this group in a couple of years, but he is still a bit raw and needs to work on his technique more. Evans is strong and very athletic and once he grows into his frame, could be a force.
- Yodney Cajuste (West Virginia) 6’5/321: Cajuste is currently ranked 8th among the tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Cajuste stock could rise especially after the combine as he has many of the intangibles NFL teams look for. Great footwork, balance and bend; gives Cajuste an extreme advantage over his opponents.
- Isaiah Prince (Ohio State) 6’6/310: Prince is currently ranked 9thamong the tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Prince is as steady as they come and arguably the best Ohio State linemen over the past two seasons. Prince is a no nonsense lineman who has an endless motor; along with a little nasty streak in him. Prince has all the tools to be a starting right tackle in the NFL.
- Max Scharping (Northern Illinios) 6’6/320: Scharping is currently ranked 10th among the tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Scharping is a blue collar performer; which means he’s not going to blow you away when you watch him. Scharping gives 100% effort on every play and doesn’t back down from everyone. Above average footwork and technique, but needs to improve his strength, especially in his lower half at the next level.
Final Thoughts: The level of talent at the tackle position is much deeper this season than last season. Gettleman understands that last offseason of rebuilding the line hasn’t worked out the way he had played it. Therefore; he needs to keep searching for the right fits/talent to build a solid offensive line for the next decade. Looking at 2019 it seems that despite his recent struggles, Nate Solder will be the left tackle at least in 2019 and Will Hernandez would remain as the starter at right guard. That leaves three spots that Gettleman needs to fill either through a trade, free agency or the draft. The stock piling of picks by Gettleman would provide the Giants will many options and added talent/depth to the roster; which is likely to be dismantled in the off season. Gettleman can go in many directions with these picks, as he could look for a more experience lineman through a trade; very similar to last off season trade for Alec Ogletree. Free agency is certainly an option, but more moves for additional cap space would need to happen; which is very likely. However; can’t see the Giants having three rookies on the offensive line in 2019, so I anticipate a combination of all three options possibly coming into play on rebuilding the offensive line.