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Geoff Schwartz shares his plan to fix the Giants' offensive line


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MINNEAPOLIS -- The biggest challenge for new Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur will be rebuilding an offensive line that has been the team's biggest weakness in recent years.


To complicate matters, the Giants only have two starting offensive linemen under contract for next season. And veteran guard John Jerry and left tackle Ereck Flowers are hardly pieces to build around.


So, how can the Giants attack the line this offseason? Geoff Schwartz, who played offensive line for the Giants in 2014-15, laid out a position-by-position breakdown of what he expects:


Left tackle: "Free agency is not the best this year. You have (Patriots left tackle) Nate Solder and there's not many beyond him. The draft is probably where you can get a good one in the second round. A guy I like is Alex Cappa from Humboldt State. He's a D-2 guy, blew up in the Senior Bowl. I've known him for a couple of years. He's really good. You put him and (Andrew) Norwell on a side and you're mowing people down. I don't know if his footwork is good enough to play left tackle in the NFL, but he's got a good chance."


Left guard: "It sounds like they want (Panthers free agent) Andrew Norwell, which would make sense for Gettleman. He's a big, physical, tough guy. He'll bring attitude to the offensive line." Schwartz believes Norwell will command $13-14 million per year."


Center: "I think what the Giants are going to do is keep Brett Jones at center. He's serviceable enough and he's cheap."


Right guard: "John Jerry at right guard - his contract makes it easy to keep him. I don't know if they will or not."


Right tackle: "I don't think they give up on Flowers because they need him to play. I don't know if they keep him at left tackle or move him to right tackle. You need a tackle no matter what.


"It's not like you just put him at right tackle and everything is fine. The thing about moving him to guard is he's got really bad hands. I moved from tackle to guard because I had bad feet. My hands were good, but I was too slow. You can fix that at guard - you don't have to move as much. But your hands are important at guard because it happens 'right now.' So, Flowers has bad hands. If his hands are high on D-ends, what's going to happen inside? I don't know. I'm not as high on him as really anybody is. I don't know if he's salvageable. I think you put him at right tackle, give him help and you hope things go well this year."


*Free agent center Weston Richburg: "Weston is probably gone."


*Free agent guard/tackle Justin Pugh: "Pugh is a guy who if it was (former Giants GM) Jerry Reese, he'd be signed 100 percent. But I don't know if Gettleman is going to have any attachment to him. That's the thing with new GMs is they don't have to attachments to players. Gettleman is going to have no attachment to Pugh. Pugh plays two positions. You can sign him to play tackle, but then you leave Flowers at left tackle. You put him at guard and you probably don't sign Norwell. Pugh is going to get paid. Somebody is going to pay him a lot of money. It's either the Giants or someone else."


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My plan to fix the offensive line and more.

 

Sign Nate Solder and put him in at LT. Single most important free agent acquisition to an immediate improvement. Now move Ereck Flowers to RT and find out if he can handle that. If there is money after Solder, bring back Pugh.

 

Trade out of the second pick with the New York Jets for a minimum of their second round pick so they can move up and draft QB Rosen. With the sixth pick the Giants draft G Quenton Nelson.

 

We have two picks in the second round and an opportunity for another Offensive lineman and a Linebacker.

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My plan to fix the offensive line and more.

 

Sign Nate Solder and put him in at LT. Single most important free agent acquisition to an immediate improvement. Now move Ereck Flowers to RT and find out if he can handle that. If there is money after Solder, bring back Pugh.

 

Trade out of the second pick with the New York Jets for a minimum of their second round pick so they can move up and draft QB Rosen. With the sixth pick the Giants draft G Quenton Nelson.

 

We have two picks in the second round and an opportunity for another Offensive lineman and a Linebacker.

 

If we trade down four spots we sure as hell had better pick up more than a 2nd round pick. We traded up four spots for Eli and gave up two firsts, a third, and a fifth.

 

According to the chart a second only gets you half of the value you just traded away. We could take their third and fourth too and still have points left over.

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If we trade down four spots we sure as hell had better pick up more than a 2nd round pick. We traded up four spots for Eli and gave up two firsts, a third, and a fifth.

 

According to the chart a second only gets you half of the value you just traded away. We could take their third and fourth too and still have points left over.

To be fair, he did say "minimum". Just sayin'.

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If we trade down four spots we sure as hell had better pick up more than a 2nd round pick. We traded up four spots for Eli and gave up two firsts, a third, and a fifth.

 

According to the chart a second only gets you half of the value you just traded away. We could take their third and fourth too and still have points left over.

 

Fixing the line this draft is more important than getting more picks in the 2019 draft so I would put more value in a second round pick this year.

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If we trade down four spots we sure as hell had better pick up more than a 2nd round pick. We traded up four spots for Eli and gave up two firsts, a third, and a fifth.

 

According to the chart a second only gets you half of the value you just traded away. We could take their third and fourth too and still have points left over.

 

Thats because the Giants were desperate for Eli and the Chargers knew it.

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Eagles gave up 2 1sts, a 2nd,a 3rd and a 4 to move from 8 to 2 and get a 4th back. We need cousins to go to Arizona or something and have the jets and Denver fall in love with the same qb because the rest of the top ten other than Cleveland doesnt want a qb and Miami and cincy are probably sticking with their guys too rather than pay the price to move up 9or 10 spots

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Eagles gave up 2 1sts, a 2nd,a 3rd and a 4 to move from 8 to 2 and get a 4th back. We need cousins to go to Arizona or something and have the jets and Denver fall in love with the same qb because the rest of the top ten other than Cleveland doesnt want a qb and Miami and cincy are probably sticking with their guys too rather than pay the price to move up 9or 10 spots

 

Denver is probably the best bet.

 

The Jets have money to throw around so I expect them to either bring back McCown or go for Cousins/Keenum, use their first round pick on that awful Oline or Defense.

 

Elway wants to find his next best QB and even stated they have the firepower to move up in the draft, they need to fall in love with either Darnold or Rosen and the Giants are going to 100% take their guy they want.

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My Plan

 

- LT - Nate Solder

- LG - 2nd or 3rd round draft pick.

- C - Brett Jones

- RG - DJ Fluker (or other FA aquisition)

- RT - Ereck Flowers

 

+ Two additional draft picks or FA signings, for depth and potential starters down the road.

 

Only keep Jerry if you absolutely need to and can't fill in LG or RG. Otherwise, cut him and free up the cap space.

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I think Jerry is being suggested as one to keep only because he is under contract already and with Flowers, are the only two who saw playing time last year that aren't free agents. So given the massive holes created, they may not want to choose to make another.

 

I guess the silver lining here is that Gettleman is getting a bit of a blank slate for the offensive line. The offensive line was one of the biggest culprits for the lack of success the past several years...we know that. At least Gettleman doesn't have to figure out how to get out from under contracts and worry about cap hits and whatnot. They're all free agents who will simply come off the books naturally.

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I actually saw an article today titled "Breaking Down Geoff Schwartz's Fixes for the Giants Line."

 

Can anybody name me one reason this guy's opinion should matter? He had like one decent season out of eight, right? Can we get Willie Ponder's opinion on how to fix the special teams?

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Why do you think he is marginally better?

 

He's better in pass protection, but he's not an upgrade in the run game, he's been injured throughout his career and the Pats have so far made no indication that they are worried about him leaving, mainly because Cannon is a better tackle. He has had a rocky career with a lot of people, even his own team, doubting him only coming back in the last couple of seasons with some decent play.

 

I mean he's an upgrade but he wouldn't be much of an upgrade for the money he's going to get paid, he's an above average tackle in a pool of FA with no tackles.

 

I'd rather use a draft pick in the second round on a tackle, from what I've read there are a bunch of quality starting tackles who are going to be pushed into the second round with all the QB needy team this year.

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Hes a good player and would help but we need to be really careful with our limited cap this offseason and he is jumping out at me as an overpay. Pugh too. Too many teams have shitty o-lines and the demand might be too high for these free agents. Minnesota and the rams turned themselves into major contenders by pouring resources into their o-line and a big reason jax offense and Bortles improved so much this year despite losing major weapons was drafting cam Robinson. Teams noticed and its a copycat league

 

It seems like theres some real o-line talent in the top half of the first round. Between shurmer and gettleman comments on Eli and their comments on o-line and d-line philosophy Im starting to think thats the direction we go with the first pick

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