Keeping New York Giants’ QB Eli Manning protected and clean in the pocket is the most important thing possible for the Giants. As Manning goes, the Giants go, contrary to popular belief that the pass rush wins them games. In the first half of the season, Manning was getting a clean pocket and a good amount of time to throw the football. However, as they played better defenses, the offensive line became a bit suspect.
Going into this off-season, there are a lot of questions general manager Jerry Reese needs to answer with the offensive line. OL Will Beatty and OL Kevin Boothe are both free agents and the Giants are likely to bring just one of them back. OL David Diehl remains a question mark, as he has one year remaining on his contract. He could be cut for salary cap reasons.
OL Chris Snee and OL David Baas are the best the Giants have, but Snee is getting hip surgery and Baas didn’t play as well as he did in his first season with the Giants. OL Sean Locklear was a good off-season addition for the Giants, but there remains question marks to his return. Locklear broke his leg in a Monday night game against the Washington Redskins in early December, so it’ll be hard for him to recover and be as strong as before.
The Giants have so many holes to fill if they want to get back to being a Super Bowl caliber team. On defense, they need a pass rusher, a productive linebacker against the run and a cornerback. This is in addition to getting younger and better on the offensive line. No one knows what Reese’s thought process is yet when it comes to which way he’ll lean with the Giants’ first-round pick.
They better make sure they improve the offensive line. If Manning isn’t protected and able to scan the field, the Giants will be going nowhere.