Commanders: Ranking the NFC East offensive lines for 2022
By Jonathan Eig
Previewing the NY Giants’ offensive line
In New York, the Giants should see some improvement along the line. Of course, when you are laughingstock, there’s really nowhere to go but up.
The development of Andrew Thomas at left tackle last year was essential. It looked for a while like Thomas would be yet one more disaster from the Dave Gettelman era. But he rebounded from a shaky rookie season to show why he was the No. 4 overall selection in the 2020 draft.
The Giants are hoping that 6’7”, 350 pound Evan Neal can make a smoother transition during his rookie season. On paper, he should form a formidable bookend at tackle with Thomas for years to come. But like the Cowboys’ Tyler Smith, Neal is just 21. He certainly looks the part, but growing pains are to be expected.
The interior of the Giants line – Mark Glowinski, Jon Feliciano, Shane Lemieux – are veterans, but have never played together before. Glowinski is a limited player who they signed from Indianapolis. Feliciano is a tough guard-turned-center who new coach Brian Daboll brought with him from Buffalo. And Lemieux was a highly touted college prospect who quite frankly has been a major disappointment as a pro. Now, he’ll miss the first month of the season on IR with a toe-turned-foot injury. They will almost certainly need time to gel, and even when they do, they remain a limited group.
The depth looks somewhat better with Max Garcia and Matt Peart ready to step in if needed, but they remain thin. If a journeyman like Jamil Douglas or a totally green newbie like Josh Ezeudu need to log serious minutes, the Giants are in trouble. This is still largely a work in progress. At least in Thomas and Neal, they do have better building blocks than they have had in a decade.
With all that said, I expect the Washington Commanders, with a solid starting five, and at least three quality backups on place, to slot in just after the Eagles in the NFC East. Barring catastrophe, the Commanders should have a line that ranks somewhere in the upper third of the league.
The Eagles should have a top five line. The Cowboys, at least until Tyron Smith is able to play again, may be somewhere in the middle of the league, while the Giants slot in somewhere around 18-22.