The New York Giants have struggled to provide Eli Manning and the Big Blue backfield with a strong force at the right tackle spot ever since Kareem McKenzie declined with old age towards the end of the past decade. New York has tried to plug in David Diehl at RT, to poor results, and shuffled others in to patch the spot.
While this offensive line seems set on the left side with the franchise tagging of tackle Will Beatty along with the improvement of young guard Kevin Boothe — Pro Bowler Chris Snee at right guard — they could certainly use an upgrade at both center and right tackle. With drafting a center presenting sort of an absurd idea mid-first round, perhaps a road-grading right tackle like Alabama‘s D.J. Fluker could inject some physicality into the right edge.
Many draft projections have Fluker falling at least as far as the Giants’ No. 19 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft first round, as he doesn’t possess quite the pass-blocking agility of top left tackle prospects Lane Johnson, Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher. This plays right into the Giants’ hands, who already possess one of the league’s most underrated blindside protectors in Beatty.
Fluker is probably the most powerful run-blocking force in this draft, having pummeled lineman on the edge in the SEC while paving the way for Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson and the powerful ‘Bama run attack. The Giants would probably like to reclaim some of that physicality in the run game that they used to possess, as New York ranked middle-of-the-road in yards per carry last year and towards the bottom in that category in 2011.