Entering Week 14 of the NFL season, the New York Giants have had incredible ups, and atrocious downs. The offense isn’t producing nearly as much as anticipated, injury has again hit the roster hard and the defense is no longer the powerhouse it once was. However, if there was a bright spot this far into the season, it would be the play of rookie tackle/guard Justin Pugh.
The former Syracuse stud was selected by the Giants in the first round of last year’s draft, with hopes to keep Eli Manning upright while finding his receivers downfield. And though the line has been inconsistent, Pugh has been there through thick and thin.
Not only is the lineman working his way into a long-term possession of a spot on the roster, but he is also making history this season. That may come to a shock to most fans around the league. Why is Pugh so special?
Well, Pugh has started every game this season at right tackle, and if he finishes the final four games at the spot, he will garner three historic feats. The first is that he will be the first rookie on the Giants to start all 16 games since Barry Cofield did so in 1995. Pugh will also be the first offensive lineman to do so in the past 10 seasons. And on top of it all, Pugh will be the only first-round choice to do so since Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor back in 1981.
Major props must be given to the rookie many questioned going into the draft, due to the fact that many saw him solely as a pure guard, and that he hadn’t faced stiff enough competition in the ACC to prepare him for the NFL. Congratulations, not to just Justin Pugh, but to the Giants’ organization and its fans, for selecting the future of the offensive line for years to come.