Coming into last year, the spotlight along the New York Giants offensive line was on Will Beatty. Beatty was a former second round pick. Beatty had battled through all sorts of injuries and was finally given a shot to win the left tackle job. Beatty got that chance and excelled at it, and had an elite season at the left tackle position, and was compensated for that as he hit free agency. In 2013, pressure will be on another young tackle to step up in James Brewer.
Brewer was the Giants’ fourth round pick back in 2011. There was high hopes for him to take over as part of the offensive line. Brewer wasn’t a part of it in 2011 and last year again wasn’t. When David Diehl struggled, the team turned the job over to veteran Sean Locklear instead of Brewer. When Locklear blew out his knee, the team turned the job back over to Diehl and not Brewer.
Going into 2013, Diehl is back and the team made Justin Pugh its first round draft pick. Pugh can play all over the offensive line, but clearly the team envisions him pushing for the right tackle spot in order for him to get on the field. Brewer will again be tested to try and earn some playing time.
The advantage that Brewer has is his size. He’s taller and bigger than both Pugh and Diehl. While he won’t be protect Eli Manning’s blindside, having a big body like that could help the Giants running game. If he doesn’t start, he could be used as a jumbo tight end in short yardage packages.
Brewer’s time to shine is this summer. If he plays well, he could find himself starting week one. If not, he could be another draft pick who didn’t pan out at the next level.