Will the Giants Target Offensive Line in the Draft

By Adam Nardelli (@adamnardelli)

The Giants going offensive line with the 23rd pick in the draft has been a popular option in many mock drafts, but it’s not the most realistic.  As we all know, the Giants main issue on the offensive line is left tackle.  Unfortunately for the Giants, finding a player in this offensive line draft class that can make an immediate impact at left tackle could be tricky.  

Based on reports and observations from those who are who plugged into the Giants organization, the front office is not enamored with this year’s offensive line draft class.  As SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reported, the Giants don’t believe any of the top offensive line prospects could come in right away and start.  My takeaway from that is the likelihood of selecting Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp goes way down.

Both Robinson and Lamp project better at the right tackle or guard position, as many draft experts have argued.  Robinson played left tackle at Alabama, but he’s been inconsistent in pass protection and he’s had problems with his balance while playing out on an island as the blind side protector.  He was also arrested for marijuana and weapons possession, making his character come into question. 

A combination of a sketchy outlook for Robinson as a left tackle as well as an arrest history would make him a surprising first-round pick for the Giants.  It’s clear he is far from a clean prospect, not exactly the profile the Giants want with their first-round pick.  

Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp also played left tackle in college, but he doesn’t possess the desired height or arm length to play effectively out on the edge.  As a result, most scouts look at Lamp as a quality guard prospect.  With Justin Pugh at left guard and John Jerry (who was just given a 3-year contract) or the newly acquired DJ Fluker at right guard, the interior of the offensive line isn’t something the Giants will likely address with their first-round pick.

Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramcyzk has been selected to the Giants in countless mock drafts over the past couple of months, but like Robinson, Ramcyzk has too many red flags.  He recently had hip surgery, which made him unable to workout at the combine or for teams in private sessions.  

He stopped playing football after high school, leaving the game for a year.  Consequently, teams question how much passion he has for the game.  Ramcyzk also played just one year of FBS level college football, adding another concern to his background.  That just seems like a bit too many questions for the Giants to realistically use a first-round pick on him. 

That leaves Utah’s Garett Bolles as the most legitimate offensive line option in the first-round.  Bolles fits best at left tackle among the aforementioned prospects because of his athleticism and excellent footwork. Another popular evaluation of Bolles is that he plays with plenty of passion and loves to finish plays.  

Still, Bolles comes with his share of issues.  He’s had off-the-field troubles stemming from a difficult family life in high school.  He also just played one year at the FBS level, similar to Ramczyk, and needs to get stronger. 

Both James Kratch of and Jordan Raanan of ESPN agree that Bolles is the Giants preference at offensive line in the first-round, most likely because he projects the best at left tackle.  Lamp, Robinson, and Ramcyzk all have either too many questions or don’t look to be NFL left tackles, making the possibility of the Giants taking them in the first-round seemingly low. 

It can be assumed that other teams picking ahead of the Giants realize the crop of first-round offensive line talent is slim, which could lead them to jump on Bolles.  Here is just another reason why offensive line with the 23rd pick just might not be in the cards.  You never know what the Giants front office is really thinking, but based on info from reporters with sources inside the organization and the lack of left tackle prospects in the first-round, Jerry Reese going offensive line with the 23rd pick is far from a guarantee.  

I absolutely expect Reese to draft an offensive lineman at some point to add competition to the current group, but doing so on day 2 might be more realistic