New York Giants headlines for Saturday
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New York Giants: Draft OT Rashawn Slater with the No. 11 pick
The Giants expected to solve their long-term left tackle problem with their 2020 selection of Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 pick. But even allowing for some early struggles after veteran Nate Solder’s opt-out forced him into the Week 1 starting lineup, Thomas underwhelmed in his rookie season. His 5.8% blown block rate was the highest among tackles with 300 or more snaps in pass protection, according to Sports Info Solutions charting. That’s a major problem for young quarterback Daniel Jones, who, despite cutting his turnover rate in Year 2, tied for the league lead with 11 fumbles thanks in large part to a 9.1% sack rate that was second highest at his position.
And it makes tackle Rashawn Slater the perfect choice for the team’s top 2021 draft pick, even if it opens the front office up to criticism from the media and fans that might read it as an admission of failure with Thomas. In truth, a Slater selection would not admit failure. His strength and athleticism will likely allow him to play multiple offensive line positions. But it would plan for the possibility of a failure that could derail the franchise given the necessary timing of a Jones extension.
The Giants will have to decide on Jones’ fifth-year option next offseason, so they need to protect him this season to see if he can protect the football. Slater would provide insurance for the team to make that evaluation in 2021, and he may even be the difference between one bad lineman and two good ones if Thomas is a better fit for right tackle than left.
Valentine’s View: I disagree with the premise for why the Giants would pick Slater — I don’t think he would supplant Thomas at left tackle. Still, I have said before I think picking Slater at No. 11 would be logical. Why? Offensive line before playmakers, and Slater could end up at left guard, right guard or right tackle for the Giants.
This is an interesting read, though author Ben Linsey and yours truly don’t quite see things the same way.
NEW YORK GIANTS: DEFENSIVE TACKLE SCOUTING
Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, Dexter Lawrence — the Giants know a good all-around defensive tackle when they see one. The problem is that it’s not a particularly valuable position to continually knock out of the park.
Of course it’s defensive tackle scouting. I tried to think of something different, and the only other thing I could come up with was the 2019 selection of Darius Slayton in Round 5.
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- McShay mock draft: Jaylen Waddle lands with Giants
- 2021 NFL Draft film breakdown: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
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