The New York Giants’ offensive line struggled all throughout the 2018 NFL season. Giants’ General Manager Dave Gettleman will certainly be grinding the film sessions to evaluate the offensive line’s performance. The line improved in the second half of the season, however, it was still inconsistent and below average. Pro Football Focus’s grading system helps add context and aid in the evaluation process.
The Left Side Of The Line
Giants fans know the offensive line has been a weakness for years now. Finally, in 2018, Gettleman showed Ereck Flowers the door, and things began to improve. However, there is still much room for improvement along the offensive line.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants offensive line ranked 21st in the league in 2018. The two best players along the offensive line were the rookie second-rounder, guard Will Hernandez, and the big free agent signing, left tackle Nate Solder.
PFF stated that Solder started the season off poorly, allowing six sacks and 20 total pressures through the first eight games. However, he finished the season strong, allowing only one sack and 13 total pressures over the second half of the season.
Will Hernandez had a great rookie season with the Giants in 2018. His 65.8 overall grade was above averaged and ranked him 21st out of all guards in the NFL. Out of all rookie interior-offensive linemen, Hernandez ranked second, showing his potential to be a star on the line for years to come. An impressive stat that PFF notes is Hernandez’s two penalties on 1,027 snaps. That is incredibly clean and efficient play from the young “Hog Molly.”
The center position also looks set for 2019 and beyond, if the players can remain healthy. Jon Halapio was playing great football until he went down with a lower leg injury in only the second game of the season. He missed the rest of 2018, but Dave Gettleman has made it clear he intends to resign Halapio this offseason. Halapio started the season off with a 69.4 overall grade before his injury. He was playing the best out of any lineman on the Giants’ roster at the time.
The Right Side Of The Line
The left side of the offensive line looks set for 2019 and beyond. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the right side of the offensive line. Right tackle Chad Wheeler struggled all season. He finished with an overall grade of 47.4, ranking him as the 78th tackle in the NFL.
The Giants acquired their right guard, Jamon Brown, midway through the season. Brown was an upgrade over Patrick Omameh, however, he is not likely to be a long-term solution at the position. The team played better with Brown out there, and he has potential to grow with a second year in the Giants’ offense, but his overall PFF grade of 51.7 ranked 64th out of all guards in 2018. Brown could be a great depth piece along the offensive line if the Giants are able to acquire more talent.
Things look set along the left side of the line and the center position for the Giants heading into 2019. If the Giants are able to acquire a couple of difference-makers on the right side of the line via free agency or the draft, they could have a turnaround similar to the Colts in 2018. The Giants will need to make an upgrade at right tackle, and luckily for them, there are plenty of options this offseason. The Giants’ offensive line has potential to be great in 2019.
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