Draft preview: Offensive line

April, 20, 2012
4/20/12
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This is the fifth installment in a nine-part series that will analyze the Giants' needs, position by position, in the upcoming draft.

Position: Offensive line.

Depth chart: G Chris Snee, T/G David Diehl, C David Baas, LT Will Beatty, G/C Kevin Boothe, G Mitch Petrus, T James Brewer, T/G Sean Locklear, C Jim Cordle, G Chris White, T Selvish Capers and T Joel Reinders.

Not under contract: RT Kareem McKenzie, T Stacy Andrews and G Tony Ugoh.

Scouting report: The Giants underwent changes on the offensive line last season with a new center (Baas), new left guard (Diehl) and new left tackle (Beatty). Due to injuries, the Giants ended up winning the Super Bowl with Diehl at left tackle and Boothe at left guard.

There will be more change to the line this season with McKenzie not expected to return as a free agent. Eli Manning will have a new right tackle and Diehl is the leading candidate to start there. Jerry Reese has mentioned Brewer, last year’s fourth-round project, as a candidate to compete for the spot as well. Beatty has been cleared to play after eye surgery last season and he should move back into his starting spot. Boothe, who became a valuable contributor playing guard and center last season, could remain as the starting left guard. Petrus filled in at left guard and started three games due to injuries and handled the job well.

Baas’ first season as a Giant was filled with injuries and ups and downs but he ended it with a Super Bowl victory.

The Giants signed Locklear in free agency as a potential extra blocker. Locklear, though, has his eyes set at right tackle. The former Redskins and Seahawks veteran has played in 105 regular season games, starting 82 games. He started 19 games at right tackle during the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl in 2005.

The Last Time: The Giants last drafted an offensive lineman in 2011 when they took Brewer in the fourth round out of Indiana.

Potential targets: The Giants took Brewer last year as a project to develop. They still could draft another offensive lineman for depth. If they end up drafting one high in the draft –- which would mean that an offensive lineman was the highest player left on their board when they picked -- that could be a tackle who could compete for a spot this season or in the future.

After USC’s Matt Kalil, some of the top tackles expected to go high are Iowa’s Riley Reiff, Georgia’s Cordy Glenn and Stanford’s Jonathan Martin. Ohio State’s Mike Adams could potentially be there at 32 when the Giants pick but he has reportedly had some off-the-field issues.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay recently had the Giants taking Cal’s Mitchell Schwartz in the second round of his mock draft. According to ProFootballTalk.com, the Giants have brought in Mississippi State’s tackle/guard James Carmon and Oklahoma tackle Donald Stephenson for visits.

Need Rating (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being of highest importance): 6.

Next: Special teams on Sunday.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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