The philosophy amongst the Giants’ front office is to always draft the best player available (or commonly known by the acronym BPA). General Manager Jerry Reese swears by drafting the best player available on draft day regardless if the team has gaping holes in some critical spots.
Look for that theme to continue. That being said, the Giants could do themselves a favor by upgrading at offensive tackle. With David Diehl taking a pay cut and getting up there in age and James Brewer far from a sure thing, the Giants perhaps could be in the market for another offensive tackle. When the Giants paid left tackle Will Beatty $38.5 million in the offseason, it signaled the Giants are set and comfortable with having Beatty being a cog on the left side of the line for years to come.
With the other side of the line being somewhat of a concern, the Giants could look at the draft for an infusion of youth and talent at right offensive tackle. With that said, here are the top offensive tackles the Giants may target. (Granted, some of these names may not be available when the Giants select with the #19th pick, but there are always trades).
Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Joeckel is widely regarded as the most ready-made tackle available for the draft. Joeckel (6’6” 306 pounds) combines speed and power to seal off pass rushers. He is great in picking up blitzes and is better suited at pass blocking than run blocking. Joeckel will most likely be one of the top 5 picks (perhaps #1 overall) and if the Giants wanted him, they would most likely have to trade for his services-which is not likely to happen.
Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Closely behind Joeckel in the OT pecking order is Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher. Fisher has perhaps more upside than Joeckel and if given room for growth, Fisher can turn into a stud. At 6’7”, 306 pounds, Fisher is as physical as it gets and he would offer any lucky quarterback great protection for years to come. He, like Joeckel, should find himself being selected within the first 10 picks and should be beyond the Giants’ reach.
Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
There are strong indications that the Giants love the upside of Johnson and with Joeckel and Fisher expected to be drafted before the Giants pick, Johnson could be the Giants’ man with the #19th pick. Johnson has the physical attributes (6’6”, 303 pounds) to make his presence known immediately. Johnson is also blessed with great athleticism, as he is a converted tight end. So, if you want athletic and big, Johnson has the whole package.
D.J. Fluker, Alabama
Fluker, at 6’5”, 339 pounds is a load to handle. Fluker is an excellent run blocker. Fluker is also an immovable force with fantastic hands and he may be only scratching the surface of his immense potential.
Menelik Watson, Florida State
If you look at raw potential, there may be no better tackle prospect than Watson. Watson (6’5” 310 pounds) is indeed raw, but the natural skills he possesses make him an intriguing prospect. Watson has above-average athleticism and is a hard-worker. Don’t be surprised if the Giants nab Watson with the purpose to develop him and make him a potential star. We could be looking at the offensive line version of Jason Pierre-Paul. Yes, the upside with Watson is sky-high.