In the last several years the New York Giants entered the off-season with a need at offensive line and the 2017 offseason was no different. In years past, Big Blue has acquired offensive linemen Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg who both have proven to be valuable assets. Both Pugh and Richburg were acquired via the draft with Pugh chosen in the 1st round of 2013 and Richburg chosen in the 2nd round of 2014. Yet, in the 2017 draft, offensive lineman were not drafted until the 6th round when Adam Bisnowaty was taken by the G-men. By waiting until the 6th round of the NFL draft to select an offensive lineman and not bringing in a left-tackle via free agency the Giants are demonstrating they have faith in Ereck Flowers.
Flowers joined the Giants as Big Blue’s first round pick, 9th overall selection, in the 2015 draft and was put to work right away. During his rookie season, Flowers did not receive heavy criticism as the Giants offense was clicking and the primary need to be addressed was the Giants defensive unit. While there was some discussion among the Giant faithful at that time to select another tackle when the draft came and went however an offensive lineman was not picked by the G-men.
During the 2016 NFL season, Flowers was often criticized by analyst for mistakes he was making on the field. What also did not help was the Giants inability to run the ball and not being able to put up points as an offensive unit. The Giants offense struggled to put together methodical drives that would eat up the clock and grind out the opposition instead having to rely on big plays from their wide receivers. While no coach would be upset with an 80-yard touchdown catch, a truly effective offensive would be able to have big strike capability and be able to have long sustained drives that ended in touchdowns.
In the 2017 offseason, some voiced their opinion that Flowers should be moved to right-tackle and another person be brought in to play left-tackle. But after all the offseason moves it appears that Flowers will be at left tackle in the 2017 season for the Giants. With this there appear to be two outcomes and one would lead to a strong critique of Jerry Reese and another would lead to praise for Jerry Reese.
If Flowers plays poorly Jerry Reese will be critiqued for two reasons. First, Flowers was a first round pick and a bust for a first round pick does not reflect well on the general manager. The second argument against him would be that Reese did not correct the mistake by acquiring a better left tackle whether by free-agency or the draft.
On the opposite spectrum if Flowers delivers on the field Reese will receive praise in two different ways. The first would have Reese credited for having the courage to stick with the LT until Flowers developed into the player the Giants need. The second compliment will be based on the performance of other draft picks. If Evan Engram proves to be the playmaker at tight end that Big Blue wanted that will further validate not allocating the first round pick on another offensive lineman