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Friday, July 19, 2013
Camp preview: Offensive line

By Ohm Youngmisuk

New York Giants
Will David Diehl (No. 66) be a part of the Giants' starting offensive line in 2013? We'll soon find out.
As training camp approaches, we're counting down to camp by taking a look at the Giants, position by position.

Position: Offensive line.

Projected starters: LT Will Beatty, LG Kevin Boothe, C David Baas, RG Chris Snee, RT David Diehl.

Projected reserves: T/G Justin Pugh, T James Brewer, C Jim Cordle, G Eric Herman, G Brandon Mosley, T Matt McCants, T Selvish Capers, G Stephen Goodin, G Bryant Browning, G Chris DeGeare and G Michael Jasper.

New faces: Pugh, Herman, Browning, DeGeare, Jasper.

Going, going, gone: T Sean Locklear.

Player to watch: The man who wins the starting right tackle job. The veteran Diehl is the front-runner going into camp, but first-round pick Pugh and Brewer will get a chance to prove they can do the job. Diehl has battled through injuries the past couple of seasons but the coaching staff values his experience and versatility. The coaches trust Diehl, and that could end up being the deciding factor. If Pugh or Brewer are going to start, they will have to beat Diehl out. GM Jerry Reese is ready to see what Brewer can do with playing time. Brewer or Pugh could serve as an extra blocker if Diehl wins the RT job.

Potential strength: The Giants have versatility, experience and some much-needed depth on the line. Diehl, Boothe, Pugh, Brewer and Cordle all can play multiple positions on the line. This is extremely important considering the Giants almost always get hit with injuries to the O-line. With Baas and Snee recovering from offseason surgeries, the Giants have used linemen like Boothe at different spots, which bodes well in case injuries shake things up. The Giants' O-line also did a good job of protecting Eli Manning last season, allowing 19 sacks, nine fewer than the previous year.

Potential weakness: Age and health. By the end of September, Beatty, Boothe, Baas, Snee and Diehl will have a combined average age of 31. Snee and Baas also did not participate in OTAs and minicamp as they were coming off surgeries. The line was banged up last year, and co-owner John Mara said he wanted to see the group get stronger and better. The offensive line needs to impose its will on defenses more in the run game. The line showed it can dominate against the Browns last year when Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 200 yards and David Wilson added 44 yards rushing.

Wild card: Pugh. The Giants drafted Pugh in the first round because of his versatility. But they used him mostly at right tackle during the offseason training program to prep him for the right tackle competition. If Pugh has an impressive camp, the rookie could either win the right tackle job or be the extra blocker in big packages.

Tell us what you think of the offensive line entering camp.