It’s no secret the New York Giants struggled both running the football and protecting quarterback Eli Manning in 2016. New York ranked 29th in the league in rushing yards per game (88.2), while left tackle Ereck Flowers struggled mightily protecting Manning’s blindside, positing an atrocious Pro Football Focus grade of 48.4.
Potentially adding the likes of Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth would help the Giants in both cases. Whitworth is an older player at age 35, but is undoubtedly the answer for the Giants offensive line issues.
He prides himself on consistency and has been consistent his whole career. Despite being up there in years, Whitworth ranked in the top 10 at his position according to Pro Football Focus. He would pair well on the left side of the line with guard Justin Pugh, fortifying what was a weakness a year ago. If the Giants get a bounce back season from Flowers and are able to shift him successfully to right tackle, the line would be exceptional.
The Giants main priority should be protecting the team leader in Manning. The two time Super Bowl MVP is getting older and his arm is getting weaker. He can’t be forced into making throws in a crowded pocket. If the Giants are to get a great final few years out of Manning as his career winds down they have to protect him. New York will also have to be able to run the football to open up passing lanes and that starts up front.
The Giants have enough players on the defensive side of the ball and need more firepower on offensive to make another run at the NFL postseason in 2017. The keys for Big Blue will be the same as always. Protecting Eli Manning, establishing a ground game, and rushing the quarterback. Of course having Odell Beckham to catch the football is a huge bonus as well.