Home Free Agency Giants testing 3rd-year utility offensive lineman at right tackle

Giants testing 3rd-year utility offensive lineman at right tackle

by Guest Blogger

For the New York Giants to develop an above-average offense in 2024, a significant improvement is required not only from quarterback Daniel Jones, who needs to elevate his game but also from the offensive line, which was notably weak in pass protection last season.

Optimizing the Giants’ Offensive Line for 2024

In response to having the worst-ranked pass-protecting offensive line in 2023, the Giants invested in free agency, acquiring Jon Runyan and Jermaine Eluemunor. Throughout minicamp and likely into training camp, the team has been experimenting with different line configurations, cross-training players in various positions to optimize the line-up and enhance the skill set of their younger players.

Jermaine Eluemunor, Giants

Oct 22, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Las Vegas Raiders guard Jermaine Eluemunor (72) heads to the locker room after warming up before a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Strategic Shifts and Player Development

A key focus has been on Josh Ezeudu, a North Carolina product who has been transitioned to right tackle after spending the previous two years at left tackle and left guard. In his rookie year (2022), Ezeudu took 289 reps at guard, during which he allowed multiple pressures and three sacks. Following an injury to Andrew Thomas last year, Ezeudu filled in at tackle for 266 snaps, but this led to 12 pressures and five sacks, one of which resulted in a neck injury for Daniel Jones.

This move to right tackle marks a significant shift for Ezeudu, who has never played in this position before and clearly requires further development to meet the demands of his new role. The Giants are also testing veterans in various positions to find the most effective combinations, although they have opted not to train Evan Neal at guard, holding out hope that he will eventually prove effective as a right tackle.

Neal’s situation complicates the line’s dynamics, as he was absent from mini-camp due to foot surgery and has not yet returned to live drills. This delay in his recovery may set him back significantly, potentially elevating Eluemunor to a more critical role at right tackle sooner than anticipated.

Eluemunor’s versatility is also being tested, as he has been practicing at left guard, which suggests that the Giants are preparing for possible injuries and the need for flexible player roles during the demanding season ahead.

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