The New York Giants own a stout defense, playmakers in the passing game and a veteran quarterback to match up with any NFC East team. Big Blue's attempt to leap the Dallas Cowboys in the division, however, could be crippled by the offensive line.
Entering the offseason, most analysts pegged the O-line as the biggest need. Giants GM Jerry Reese struck out on the free-agent market, with his only addition being disappointing backup D.J. Fluker. The Giants then didn't draft an offensive tackle until their final pick of last weekend's draft (Adam Bisnowaty, with the 200th overall selection). Reese then added two players from the undrafted free-agent pool in tackle Chad Wheeler and guard Jessamen Dunker.
The lack of top-shelf additions leaves 23-year-old Ereck Flowers and 22-year-old Bobby Hart manning the tackle spots in New York. Entering the season with the same disappointing group that struggled last year might be frustrating to Giants fans, but Reese insists this is the season the young players will make the leap.
"It's almost kind of developmental, some ups and downs as young players but we expect these guys to make a significant jump this season, because they've been in the league already,'' Reese said Monday on WFAN, via the New York Post. "Those guys could have been in this draft class.''
The 2017 draft was notoriously bad for offensive linemen, so Reese can hardly be criticized for not reaching for another young player who likely wouldn't be as good as his incumbents this season.
If the GM's words don't come true, however, and the young offensive tackles prove to be the paralyzing agent for a possible dynamic offense, the pitchforks will be back out for Reese in New York.