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State of Giants' offensive line: What it looks like pre-draft


John Mara did not mince words last week at the NFL Annual Meeting. The team president was asked about the offensive line being a topic of conversation around the Giants for the past decade.

"You're right it's ridiculous," Mara responded, "and it's a continuing source of frustration for me. It's time to get it fixed. We've invested in a couple of No. 1 draft picks on offensive tackles. We have a No. 2 draft pick playing at center, and now we have spent some money in free agency. We have a new offensive line coach. I expect us to be a hell of a lot better this year."

The first-round picks to which he referred are Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal. The second-round center is John Michael Schmitz Jr. The free agent additions include Jon Runyan and Jermaine Eluemunor. The new position coach is Carmen Bricillo, formerly with the Raiders, along with new assistant offensive line coach James Ferentz, who retired last month as a player after an eight-year career with the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots.

"That was certainly a priority going into this offseason was to get the offensive line fixed," Mara said. "I mean, you can't win in this league unless you have a good productive, consistent offensive line. It's what we had years ago when we were winning, and we have to get back to that. I think we have the right pieces in there now. We have a new offensive line coach. We'll see. Life in football starts on the offensive line. If you can't block them, you're not going to win."


Table inside Article
DAL Andrew Thomas Ben Bredeson John Michael Schmitz Jr. Mark Glowinski Evan Neal
@ARI Joshua Ezeudu Ben Bredeson John Michael Schmitz Jr. Marcus McKethan Evan Neal
@SF Joshua Ezeudu Shane Lemieux John Michael Schmitz Jr. Marcus McKethan Evan Neal
SEA Joshua Ezeudu Ben Bredeson John Michael Schmitz Jr. Marcus McKethan Evan Neal
@MIA Joshua Ezeudu Mark Glowinski Ben Bredeson Marcus McKethan Evan Neal
@BUF Joshua Ezeudu Justin Pugh Ben Bredeson Mark Glowinski Evan Neal
WAS Justin Pugh Marcus McKethan Ben Bredeson Mark Glowinski Tyre Phillips
NYJ Justin Pugh Ben Bredeson John Michael Schmitz Jr. Mark Glowinski Tyre Phillips
@LV Andrew Thomas Justin Pugh John Michael Schmitz Jr. Ben Bredeson Evan Neal
@DAL Andrew Thomas Justin Pugh John Michael Schmitz Jr. Ben Bredeson Tyre Phillips
@WAS Andrew Thomas Justin Pugh John Michael Schmitz Jr. Ben Bredeson Tyre Phillips
NE Andrew Thomas Justin Pugh John Michael Schmitz Jr. Ben Bredeson Tyre Phillips
GB Andrew Thomas Justin Pugh John Michael Schmitz Jr. Ben Bredeson Tyre Phillips
@NO Andrew Thomas Justin Pugh John Michael Schmitz Jr. Ben Bredeson Tyre Phillips
@PHI Andrew Thomas Justin Pugh John Michael Schmitz Jr. Ben Bredeson Tyre Phillips
LAR Andrew Thomas Justin Pugh John Michael Schmitz Jr. Ben Bredeson Tyre Phillips
PHI Andrew Thomas Justin Pugh Ben Bredeson Mark Glowinski Matt Peart

Below is a look at the state of the offensive line with the draft just a few weeks away:


Jon Runyan

Previous Team: Green Bay Packers

Career: 67 G, 50 GS (28 at RG, 22 at LG)

The son of longtime rival (and friend) of Michael Strahan, Runyan is well-versed in NFC East rivalries despite spending his first four NFL seasons in the NFC North. The 6-foot-4, 307-pound veteran never missed a game during his time in Green Bay, where he was drafted in the sixth round out of Michigan in 2020.

"Dad played for the Eagles for nine years," Runyan said during his introductory news conference. "I grew up in South Jersey. I kind of understand the whole NFC East rivalry between all these teams. It's some tough, gritty football. Watching my dad and Michael go at it twice a year was always fun watching it go down on Monday night and Sunday Night Football. I'm just happy to be part of it. It's a special part of my childhood, and excited to go forward and implement my own story going forward."

Jermaine Eluemunor

Previous Team: Las Vegas Raiders

Career: 87 G, 45 GS (32 at RT, 7 at LT, 6 at RG)

The first football game Jermaine Eluemunor ever saw was the NFL's debut in London, where the Giants defeated the Dolphins, 13-10, on a soggy pitch at Wembley Stadium. It was late October of 2007 and Eluemunor, who had spent his life in England up to that point, was about to turn 13. It sparked a football journey that brought him to New Jersey, Scranton, Texas A&M, Baltimore, New England, Miami, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, and ultimately back to New Jersey this week.

"For me, my excitement comes from this franchise as a whole," Eluemunor said in his first media session with Giants reporters after he signed as a free agent. "I grew up in Jersey when I moved from London. Also, the first team I ever saw play football was the Giants, and that helmet and that uniform just sticks out to me. It's known across the world. For me coming here to this franchise was always a dream."

And he will do it in No. 72.

Worn throughout college and most of his NFL career, the number will be familiar to Giants fans. Osi Umenyiora won two Super Bowls and climbed to fourth on the franchise's career sacks list in No. 72. Like the 2015 Ring of Honor inductee, Eluemunor was born in London and has Nigerian heritage.

"Osi is my guy," Eluemunor said. "I asked him if I could wear that number because they asked me if I wanted to wear 72, but I knew the history behind it, the player that wore it, and really represented that number well for the Giants. I asked him about it, and he said, 'Absolutely, do your thing.'"

Meanwhile, there is more woven into this homecoming than a jersey.

Elumenor, who moved to Denville, N.J., as a teenager and played at Morris Knolls High School, will reunite with offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo. They go back to their days together in New England, where both arrived in 2019. Bricillo began his NFL career as a coaching assistant before taking over as the Patriots' line coach in 2020. Eluemunor then moved on to the Raiders in 2021, and Bricillo joined him the following season.

In his first season with the Raiders in 2022, Bricillo's unit helped the Raiders' offense rush for 2,059 yards, the team's most in a single season since 2011. Raiders rushers were stopped for a loss or no gain an NFL-low 68 times in 2022, and Josh Jacobs led the league with 1,653 yards.

"If you really look at my production, my best two years came under Carm," Eluemunor said. "To have someone like him that just believes in you and is going to go to war and bat for you up in that room up there and give you tough love and also do what needs to be done and help you in ways that you need to be helped, that goes a long way.

"I've been around the league long enough to know that not every team is blessed to have an o-line coach that knows the game like him but then is also going to be as technical as him and knows the things he knows. He got to study under one of the best o-line coaches, if not the best o-line coach that ever coached in the NFL, (former Patriots offensive line coach) Dante Scarnecchia. To have that experience, that's huge. I think that will be really huge for the young guys to learn from him and take his coaching to help them take that next step in their progression as an offensive lineman."

Aaron Stinnie

Previous Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Career: 31 G, 12 GS (All at LG)

Undrafted out of James Madison University in 2018, Stinnie has played in 31 games with 12 starts with the Tennessee Titans (2018-19) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2019-2023). He was a member of Tampa Bay's 2020 Super Bowl Championship team and started the final three postseason games, including Super Bowl LV.

The 6-foot-3, 312-pound lineman played in a career-high 13 games with 11 starts for the Buccaneers in 2023 and allowed just two sacks on 442 pass block snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

Stinnie played in 54 games with 42 consecutive starts at James Madison from 2013-17. He started all 15 games at left tackle as a redshirt senior in 2017 and earned AP first-team FCS All-American honors along with a first-team All-CAA selection. He was also named first-team All-CAA as a redshirt junior (2016).

Stinnie began his collegiate career as a defensive lineman, playing in 12 games on defense as a redshirt freshman before transitioning to the offensive line the following year.

Austin Schlottmann

Previous Team: Minnesota Vikings

Career: 67 G, 14 GS (8 at C, 6 at RG)

Undrafted out of TCU in 2018, Schlottmann has played in 67 games with 14 starts with the Denver Broncos (2019-21) and Minnesota Vikings (2022-2023).

The 6-foot-6, 300-pound lineman has seen time at center, right guard and left guard during his NFL career. He has never allowed more than one sack in a season, according to Pro Football Focus. He played in nine games with three starts for the Vikings in 2023.

Schlottmann started 29 games across three seasons at TCU and was named second-team All-Big-12 as a junior in 2016.

Matt Nelson

Previous Team: Detroit Lions

Career: 43 G, 14 GS (12 at RT, 2 at extra OT)

Nelson, a 6-foot-7, 315-pound Iowa product, spent his first four seasons with the Lions, making 14 starts in 43 appearances as a converted defensive lineman. After he spent 2019 on the practice squad as an undrafted rookie, Nelson saw action in all 16 games in 2020 and made a career-high 11 starts the following season.

Nelson started Weeks 2 and 3 at right tackle for Detroit last season before being placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Overall, 12 of Nelson's 14 career starts have been at right tackle. The other two were as an extra offensive lineman.

Nelson spent his collegiate career as a defensive end, appearing in 52 career games (33 starts) for the Hawkeyes. In his final season, he was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten and the Iowa Comeback Player of the Year. Nelson also won the Team Hustle Award on defense and was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2024 cycle.


Andrew Thomas

Career: 55 G, 54 GS (All at LT)

Evan Neal

Career: 20 G, 20 GS (All at RT)

John Michael Schmitz Jr.

Career: 13 G, 13 GS (All at C)

Joshua Ezeudu

Career: 16 G, 7 GS (5 at LT, 2 at LG)

Marcus McKethan

Career: 16 G, 5 GS (4 at RG, 1 at LG)

Coming off a year in which he was named second-team All-Pro, Thomas suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener and played in a career-low 10 games because of it. That started the revolving door up front.

"I think anything that could have went wrong out there went wrong from the opening drive of the season when Andrew does his hamstring and then the next week Bredeson gets a concussion and then John Michael has – I mean, you just go on and on," Schoen said. "We go to Buffalo, and Ezeudu does his toe, and then Pugh straight off the couch … You start going through it. I mean, there was a time there where I think it was Miami, where three practice squad guys were playing for us.

"Fortunately, I've never run into a situation like that before where we've been decimated at the offensive line. You've seen a lot of the signings that we've had, a lot of guys that have played in the league and have started games and have versatility. That's always going to be a priority. It was a little bit of a perfect storm last year unfortunately in terms of injuries and then Andrew re-injuring as he was coming back. Yeah, the offensive line is going to be important. It starts there. I truly believe that. We have to be better up front."

Meanwhile, Neal has been a topic of conversation as he comes back from a season-ending ankle injury. Coach Brian Daboll was recently asked where Eluemunor will play if Neal remains at right tackle.

"I would say we have not even had a chance to sit down with any of the players," Daboll said. "Role-specific or where guys are going to be, we're a little bit away from that. The first people that we would kind of talk to are the players collectively when everybody is in the room. When they get back, we'll sit down and have discussions. You know how it goes with the offensive line. You play a variety of roles. He's got some flexibility. (Guard) Jon (Runyan Jr.) has it on both sides. We'll get to that point. We're not there yet relative to this is what it's going to be, or this is – we still have a way to go."

The Giants also signed four offensive linemen to reserve/future deals: Jimmy Morrissey, Jalen Mayfield, Yodny Cajuste, and Joshua Miles.


Ben Bredeson, who started 25 games for the Giants at all three interior line positions, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason. Matt Peart, a 2020 third-round draft choice by the Giants, also left in free agency for the Denver Broncos. Veteran Mark Glowinski was also released before the beginning of the new league year. Justin Pugh and Tyre Phillips started a combined 21 games last season for the team but remain free agents.


The top five tackles in the 2024 draft class, according to's Bucky Brooks:

  1. Joe Alt (Notre Dame)
  2. Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State)
  3. Olumuyiwa Fashanu (Penn State)
  4. Amarius Mims (Georgia)
  5. JC Latham (Alabama)

Keep an eye on ... Troy Fautanu (Washington)

Brooks: "The immense talent available at this highly coveted position could lead to an early run on edge blockers once the draft begins. Alt is a polished technician with outstanding balance, body control and lateral quickness. Standing 6-8 5/8 and weighing 321 pounds, he deftly shadowboxes defenders on the edge, exhibiting nearly flawless technique while pitching shutouts in pass protection. Fuaga is a feisty brawler with heavy hands and elite knock-back power. The Oregon State standout is a rare find as a punishing run blocker who displays ballerina-like footwork in pass protection. Fashanu is a natural blind-side protector with the length, athleticism and pop to stymie elite pass rushers. Though his technique remains a work in progress, the Penn State product possesses the rare tools of a franchise-caliber tackle. Mims lacks experience (just eight starts at Georgia), but his extra-large frame (6-7 3/4, 340 pounds) and athleticism could make him a star at the next level. With extraordinary physical tools and raw ability, the Georgia product's an enticing developmental prospect with tremendous upside. Latham is a people mover with the size, strength, balance and body control to overwhelm and overpower opponents on the edges. The Alabama star exhibits excellent patience in pass protection while deftly neutralizing premier pass rushers on the edges."

The top five interior offensive linemen in the 2024 draft class, according to Brooks:

  1. Graham Barton (Duke)
  2. Jackson Powers-Johnson (Oregon)
  3. Christian Haynes (Connecticut)
  4. Cooper Beebe (Kansas State)
  5. Zak Zinter (Michigan)

Keep an eye on ... Javion Cohen (Miami)

Brooks: "This draft class features a collection of interior blockers with intelligent play styles and positional flexibility. Barton is an experienced utility player with 2,500-plus college snaps under his belt. Despite spending most of his time at Duke on the edges, he projects as an elite interior presence in the NFL with the potential to register starts at center or guard early in his career. Powers-Johnson is a pure center with a combination of strength, power and agility that enables him to own the point of attack. Though his lack of exceptional length leaves him vulnerable against supersized power players, the Oregon standout's high-revving motor and relentless approach make life miserable for opponents. Haynes specializes in mashing defenders at the line of scrimmage in the run game. As a road grader with nice length and explosive strength, the UConn alum is a plug-and-play prospect on the interior. Beebe is a scrappy interior blocker with active hands and a mauler/brawler game. He punishes defenders at the point of attack, exhibiting the nastiness offensive line coaches love to see in bullies on the front line. Zinter is rated as one of the top prospects in the class, even after suffering a leg injury that prematurely ended his 2023 season. The Michigan standout is strong and stout in pass protection while flashing rugged skills as a run blocker with the capacity to mash and maul at the point of attack." analyst Bucky Brooks revealed his final position rankings for the 2024 NFL Draft.


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