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: David Diehl (LT/LG), Rich Seubert (LG/C), Shaun O’Hara (C), Chris Snee (RG), Kareem McKenzie (RT), Shawn Andrews (T/G), Will Beatty (T), Kevin Boothe (G), Adam Koets (C), Mitch Petrus (G), Jamon Meredith (T), Jim Cordle (C) and Ike Ndukwe (G).
Not under contract: Boothe and Meredith.
Scouting report: The offensive line was a strength last season yet could use some help. The Giants line kept Eli Manning healthy while opening holes for Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs despite having to use six different starting combinations due to injuries. GM Jerry Reese called Seubert the team’s MVP after he filled in at center for the injured O’Hara and Koets. Seubert, though, suffered a crushing kneecap injury in the final game of the season. Andrews filled in at left tackle for an injured Diehl but Andrews’ back flared up. Snee and McKenzie were the only starters not to miss time due to injuries. Beatty’s progression was disrupted by injury. Petrus saw very little action as a rookie but Tom Coughlin is a fan. Boothe proved to be a valuable and versatile backup. Cordle and Ndukwe are on the reserve/future roster.
The Last Time: The Giants drafted an offensive lineman last was in 2010 when they took Petrus in the fifth round.
Potential targets: The majority of mock drafts have the Giants taking an offensive lineman with the 19th overall pick. With free agency likely starting after the draft, the Giants will need an offensive lineman. Coughlin made it no secret that center was his biggest worry entering the draft with O’Hara, Seubert and Koets all coming back from surgeries. Florida’s C/G Mike Pouncey has been a popular choice for the Giants in mock drafts since he’s the best interior lineman. The Giants could go for a tackle at 19 as well. The Giants will have to make a decision on Andrews' future within 30 days after a new CBA is agreed upon. USC’s Tyron Smith, Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, Colorado’s Nate Solder and Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi all could go around 19. Smith has been projected as high as the top 10. The Giants reportedly took a close look at Villanova tackle Benjamin Ijalana, who could go in the second round. Florida State’s Rodney Hudson and Slippery Rock’s Brandon Fusco may be the next best two centers after Pouncey. Hudson could go in the third round and Fusco might be a late-round pick option.
Need Rating (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being of highest importance): 8.