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New York Giants’ new-look offensive line: Is it fixed?

New York Giants
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

After surrendering an NFL-high 85 sacks last season, New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen’s top priority this offseason was to rebuild the offensive line.

Through the first two weeks of free agency, no team has acquired more quality offensive linemen than the Giants. On the first day of free agency, Schoen bolstered the offensive line by signing former Packers guard Jon Runyan Jr. to a three-year deal worth $30 million and then signed former Raiders offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor to a two-year deal worth $14 million.

Since then, the team also added Austin Schlottmann, Aaron Stinnie, and Matt Nelson. The team will likely add at least one more lineman in the 2024 NFL Draft next month. But for right now, we’ll take a look at how the starting offensive line may look like this upcoming season.

Left tackle: Andrew Thomas

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With the departure of Saquon Barkley, Thomas is undoubtedly the best player on the team and one of the best tackles in the NFL. The team would’ve had a better record than 6-11 if Thomas had not pulled his hamstring on the first possession of the season trying to chase down Cowboys defensive back Noah Igbinoghene after a blocked field goal attempt.

After missing seven games, Thomas returned and was in peak form. The team is confident he’ll be back to his Second Team All-Pro form of 2022.  

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Left Guard: Evan Neal

After two disappointing seasons, there have been rumblings that Neal might be best suited to switch from right tackle to guard. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan has reported that the team reached out to Neal about switching positions, and him playing next to Thomas seems the ideal move if he switches positions.

This is a pivotal season in the career of 23-year-old Neal. He’s coming off a season where he only played in seven games and made insensitive remarks to the fanbase. The team will have to decide on giving him his fifth-year option after the season, and whether he’s playing guard or right tackle, his play will have to drastically improve if he’s going to have a long tenure in New York.

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Center: John Michael Schmitz Jr

Schmitz appeared and started in 13 games as a rookie, and at times, he struggled mightily. PFF gave him an overall rating of 41.4. But most players make the biggest strides of their career from year one to year two, and the hope is that with new offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo, Schmitz will be vastly better in his second season.

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Right Guard: Jon Runyan Jr

Runyan has been one of the most durable linemen in the league the past three seasons having appeared in 51 consecutive games. He was on the field for 928 snaps last season and allowed just two sacks. This is why he was the first signing that Schoen made because it’s imperative to keep Daniel Jones–or whoever the team’s starting quarterback is, upright.

PFF gave the 26-year-old Runyan an overall grade of 54.7, but the feeling is the best is yet to come.

Right Tackle: Jermaine Eluemunor

Eluemunor is a rugged lineman who’s spent seven seasons in the league playing for the Ravens, Patriots, and Raiders. He can play guard and tackle, which is invaluable to a team trying to revamp their offensive line.

He’ll be reunited with Bricillo as the two were together with the Raiders in 2022 and 2023. He’s been the Raiders’ starting right tackle for the last two seasons, and the belief is at some point he’ll be the Giants starting right tackle.

He and Neal will likely take reps at both guard and tackle throughout voluntary workouts and in training camp.

We won’t know how this line will gel until they take the field. But at least Schoen has addressed the team’s biggest weakness and is hoping to make it one of its strengths.

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