One of the hallmarks of the successful Giants teams of the Tom Coughlin era was a strong, consistent offensive line.
In 2013, the Giants offensive line ranked 30th in run blocking (ahead of only Jacksonville and Baltimore) and was in the bottom half of the league in pass blocking.
Rookie Tackle Justin Pugh’s improved play throughout the season was perhaps the lone bright spot in the trenches, as a revolving door of centers, guards, and Will Beatty failed to provide adequate holes for runners and protection for Eli Manning.
With the recent retirement of veteran Tackle/Guard David Diehl, the very real possibility of Guard Chris Snee hanging up the spikes, the uncertainty of the injured Beatty, and the possible release of Center David Baas, offensive line remains as big of a need as any heading into the 2014 draft.
One of the names being mentioned as a possible target is Virginia Tackle Morgan Moses.
Moses, a 6-6, 325-pound physical behemoth, has the makings of a plus tackle to play opposite of Pugh.
NFL Draft Scout ranks him as the sixth-best tackle in college football, and the 36th best player overall. Moses is projected to go in the first two rounds of the draft.
If the Giants could nab Moses with their second round pick (43rd overall), he would provide a great bargain as someone who can step in and immediately start at the NFL level.
For a player of his size, Moses is especially athletic, and he used that athleticism to mold himself into one of the best run blockers in the country.
Watching his film, one can’t help but be impressed with his execution and proficiency in gap-down-backer blocking. That is, to say, Moses hits his defensive lineman and takes him out of the play, then immediately looks downfield to make a block at the next level.
While he does excel at the quick hit then getting downfield, he doesn’t perform as well when he has to engage with a defensive lineman for an extended period. He struggles in setting edges on outside runs to his side, and his pass blocking, though it’s reportedly come a long way, still needs to improve.
His footwork in the pass block needs work, which leads to him looking overmatched at times against faster competition (his 40-yard dash time is 5.28). If he could stay engaged in his blocks better, that would go a long way toward him improving in the pass block and lead to him becoming a top offensive lineman.
Run Block: B+
Pass Block: B-
If he’s still on the board at 43, take him.