If you follow the New York Giants at all you know that the offensive line is an area of concern for this football team, quite possibly biggest area of need as the 2011 NFL Draft approaches.
The offensive line has been a strength of the Giants for several years now, and the veteran group of David Diehl (LT), Rich Seubert (RG), Shaun O’Hara ©, Chris Snee (RG) and Kareem McKenzie (RT) has been together since the 2007 Super Bowl season.
Now, though, there are age and injury concerns. O’Hara is coming off a pair of surgeries to his foot and ankle. Seubert suffered a major knee injury at the end of last season and had surgery. There are questions about whether Diehl can still play left tackle, and whether either Shawn Andrews or Will Beatty can handle the position. McKenzie is an excellent run blocker, but a 10-year veteran in the last year of his contract. The Giants need to find a long-term replacement at right tackle.
General manager Jerry Reese and coach Tom Coughlin have both mentioned offensive line, particularly the interior of the group, when talking about draft concerns. That puts Florida offensive guard/center Mike Pouncey on the Giants’ radar. The Giants have also been connected to many of the first-round offensive tackles on the board, most often Anthony Castonzo of Boston College and Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin.
The Giants have shown interest in Villanova offensive tackle Ben Ijalana among other offensive linemen.
Other highly-regarded linemen who could interest the Giants on the second day of the draft include center Stefen Wisniewski (Penn State) and Rodney Hudson (Florida State) and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon of TCU.
Analysis: The Giants drafted tackle Will Beatty two years ago and guard Mitch Petrus a season ago. They need to continue bringing in young offensive linemen. I would not be surprised if they use two of their eight selections to bolster this group.
— For a complete list of players the Giants have shown interest in, including offensive linemen, see Big Blue View.