One of the more unheralded units in all of football is the offensive line. Compared to many other positions offensive lineman do not have a celebration after they make a big block. People are not lining up in stores to buy a replica jersey of their favorite right guard. There are very few traditional statistics that show the success of an individual offensive lineman. Yet, when an offensive line plays badly everyone knows about it.
Poor offensive line play has been the biggest issues with the New York Giants the last several seasons. This has hurt the Giants in two ways. First, the running attack of Big Blue has been near the bottom of the league the last three seasons. Second, quarterback Eli Manning does not get adequate pass protection which any quarterback needs to be successful.
During the offseason, the offensive line was addressed via free agency and the NFL draft. The top Left Tackle on the market was Nate Solder and Solder signed a big-time deal to move from New England to shore up Eli’s blind side. The signing of Solder also moves maligned Ereck Flowers from left tackle to right tackle so on paper one signing upgraded two different positions.
It was going to take more than one signing to improve the offensive line for the G-Men and one players falling stock helped benefit Big Blue. Offensive Guard Will Hernandez was predicted by many as a first-round draft pick yet Hernandez was still available in the 2nd round and the Giants snatched him up. While Hernandez has not yet played a game in the NFL during training camp the rookie has earned a reputation of not backing down to anyone and Hernandez should add toughness and grit that Big Blues Offensive Line has been missing the last several seasons.
With all those moves made will the offensive line play better in 2018? The early projection will be yes because three of the five positions have been upgraded with the signing of Solder, Flowers switching positions and Hernandez being drafted. Also what makes the offensive line look better is a dynamic running back in which Big Blue should have in Saquon Barkley.
When Barkley lives up to expectations Barkley jerseys will fly off the shelf and few if any will run out and buy a Will Hernandez jersey. Barkley just might, however!