Can the 2019 Offensive line be as good as the 2011 Offensive Line?

By Michael Stewart/@golferbad

Introduction: GM Dave Gettleman finally put the final touches on improving the offensive line with the free agent signing of offensive lineman Mike Remmers. Remmers will now play Right Tackle along-side offensive guard Kevin Zeitler giving the Giants a more balance line; which was never the case in 2018. With the line now in place for at least the 2019 season, many football experts believe this is the best offensive line the Giants have had in many years. In fact, some have started to compare them with the offensive line of the Giants last Super Bowl team in 2011. This comparison is a little of a reach in my opinion, but it made me think a bit and I started to compare each position for verification. Although this group has yet to take a snap together in a game, on paper it does look very appealing. So let’s compare the New York Giants offensive line of 2011 with the offensive line of 2019 and decide which unit was better.

Center

  • 2019: Jon Halapio or Spencer Pulley- At this point, it’s unclear who will be the starter between Halapio or Pulley as both played well enough to warrant a starting position. This could be a position where both will have the opportunity to play in a platoon setting, although that rarely happens at the center position.
  • 2011 Super Bowl: David Baas- Baas played for the Giants from 2011-2013 (30 games) and was a serviceable center for the most part. Staying healthy was Baas biggest issue during his time with the Giants.

Verdict: This matchup is a draw. 

Right Guard

  • 2019: Kevin Zeitler- Zeitler is the best right guard the Giants have had since Chris Snee. Zeitler is all about durability as he has started in 104 games out of 112 during his NFL career. Zeitler will bring stability and consistency to the Giants offensive line, but most of all; talent.
  • 2011 Super Bowl: Chris Snee- Snee has four Pro Bowl selections under his belt with the Giants and was a rock during his career. Snee could have played a little longer if not for an ailing back that forced him to retire.

Verdict: Chris Snee gets my vote here over Kevin Zeitler with his four Pro Bowl selections.

Left Guard:

  • 2019: Will Hernandez-Hernandez is only entering his 2nd season and he already has a reputation of a very physical and tough offensive guard around the NFL. Based on all reports, Hernandez will more than likely receive numerous Pro Bowl selections before his career ends.
  • 2011 Super Bowl: Kevin Boothe –Booth was more of a journeyman during his career and put it all together in 2011 for the Giants. Boothe was arguably the most unknown among the offensive line in 2011, despite playing for the Giants from 2007-2013.

Verdict: Despite only playing one season in the NFL, Hernandez wins this matchup and is the clear winner in my book.

Right Tackle:

  • 2019: Mike Remmers-Remmers is the final piece to the puzzle for the Giants offensive line in 2019. Remmers familiarity with both GM Dave Gettleman during his playing days in Carolina and also with Head Coach Pat Shurmur in Minnesota. Remmers will provide more consistency than 2018 starter Chad Wheeler and give the Giants more balance on the right-side.
  • 2011 Super Bowl: Kareem McKenzie-McKenzie was pure power and played his entire career in New York (Jets 2001-04 & Giants 2005-11). McKenzie was equally effective at blocking against the run or pass.

Verdict: McKenzie gets my vote here as I believe he’s a notch above Remmers overall.

Left Tackle:

  • 2019: Nate Solder-Solder is the highest paid offensive tackle in the NFL, however; he didn’t play that way in his first season with Giants last season. Solder did improve his play in the 2nd half of the season and the Giants are expecting him to pick up where he left off.
  • 2011 Super Bowl: David Diehl-Diehl is the perfect example of a Hog Mollie and GM Dave Gettleman was part the Giants brain trust that drafted Diehl back in 2003. Chris Snee may have been the best offensive linemen for the Giants, but David Diehl was the clue as he gave the Giants 110% on every play and was the leader on that line.

Verdict: If I was ever a GM and I had a chance to draft a player like David Diehl, I would not hesitate and pick him every time. He gets my vote here over Nate Solder.

Final Thoughts: This might be a bit premature comparing the 2019 offensive line with the 2011 offensive line that won a Super Bowl. I have the 2011 unit beating the 2019 unit 3-1-1 and this could be debatable as I could have made it a 4-1 advantage with only Will Hernandez getting the win. It’s going to be exciting to watch the 2019 offensive line hopefully gelling together as the season moves on and hopefully they can be as cohesive and as durable as the 2011 group was.

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