The New York Giants offensive line is due for some major upgrades in the offseason, because they did a terrible job as a whole last season. Not only did they have huge difficulty protecting Eli Manning, but they also did a poor job of opening up running lanes for Andre Browns and the other backs on the roster. This line is too old, and it was beat up last year; the Giants should look to both the draft and free agency in order to fill the biggest positional need on the roster. I mean, they might have been the worst pass-blocking offensive line in the league, and that’s saying something.
One of the bright spots, though, was rookie right tackle Justin Pugh, who was one upgrade the Giants made last offseason by pulling the nearby Syracuse product in the first round. Most rookie tackles (see Eric Fisher) struggle initially, but guys like D.J. Fluker and Pugh turned in promising seasons. Although Fluker was better due to some hiccups in pass pro from Pugh, I thought Pugh looked every bit what the Giants hoped they were getting with the 19th pick. He played smart football out there, and Pugh could be on his way to being one of the best run blocking tackles in the game. He needs some work as a pass blocker, but that was to be expected and he was still pretty good in that regard overall.
Pugh also may have been playing through an injury last season, though it sounds minor. He tweeted out yesterday that he needed surgery on his thumb, but he said that the procedure wasn’t “major”. It’s good to hear that Pugh is getting things cleaned up, and he’ll be a full-go for offseason workouts in what should be a big offseason for him.