By Michael Stewart
Introduction: When the Giants re-signed offensive linemen Jon Halapio in the off season, not much was made of the signing. However; things have changed over the past month or so as Halapio has emerged as a serious contender to un-seed last year’s starter Brett Jones. Both players have become good friends and support each other’s effort thus far this off season. A healthy competition is a good thing and if both succeed, it will only give the Giants more depth along the offensive line.
Halapio is certainly considered a long shot to become a starter for the Giants, however; his performance in his only start (at guard) in 2017 against the Redskins caught the attention of GM Dave Gettleman. Head Coach Pat Shurmur has had high praise for the journeymen linemen who has had a solid start in 2018.
The versatility of Halapio along with Jones to play both center and guard is an added value to a Giants team that has had one of the worse offensive lines in the NFL over the past several seasons. GM Dave Gettleman addressed that in the off season with the additions of Nate Solder, Patrick Omameh and Will Hernandez; which should be a vast improvement from last season and if Ereck Flowers can succeed at right tackle, the Giants would have a vastly improved offensive line in 2018.
Final Thoughts: Sometimes it takes a player awhile to figure it out and to finally play at the level expected. At 26 years old, Halapio is still young enough to give the Giants quality years for depth or perhaps anchor a starting position along the offensive line. The competition between him and Jones in training camp will be one of the many interesting battles to watch for. The Giants are hoping that both will develop into solid offensive linemen and give the Giants a deeper offensive line in 2018.