New York Giants 2013 NFL Draft Preview: Offensive Guard/Center

by Contributor Sy’56

Current Guards/Centers on the Giants Roster:

Chris Snee – 31 Years Old – Signed through 2014
Kevin Boothe – 29 Years Old – Signed through 2013
David Baas – 31 Years Old – Signed through 2015
Brandon Mosley – 24 Years Old – Signed through 2015
Selvish Capers – 26 Years Old – Signed through 2013
Stephen Goodin – 24 Years Old – Signed through 2014
Jim Cordle – 25 Years Old – Signed through 2013
Michael Jasper – 26 Years Old – Signed through 2014
Chris DeGeare – 26 Years Old – Signed through 2013
Bryant Browning – 24 Years Old – Signed through 2013

Where They Stand:

The interior of the Giants offensive line has been a main focus so far this offseason. Reese has brought in a lot of street free agents to add a sense of competition to the backups with the hope that somebody will elevate their performance enough to add a sense of long term security to the position. This was a group that was very hot and cold in 2012. There were weeks where they were dominated inside from start to finish. Then there were weeks where the Giants could run wild via the inside gaps. The main issue here is depth and the future, as the three starters are capable of playing at a high level in 2013. Snee and Baas are on the back nine of their respective careers, and both were banged up in 2012. Baas’ contract gets overvalued next season, so this may be his last year in New York. The re-signing of Boothe to an economic deal is a big deal for this team, as he brings a lot of versatility and a quality level of performance. Behind them, there are a lot of unknowns. Mosley and Capers are former tackles with solid athletic ability and length. Can they handle the inside power game though? This will be a big offseason for both of them. It is very possible that two new starters will be in this group at this time next year. Right now may be the time to prepare for that.

Top 10 Grades:

Chance Warmack – G – 6’2/317 – Alabama: 84

Alvin Bailey – G– 6’3/312 – Arkansas: 80

Jonathan Cooper – G – 6’2/311 – North Carolina: 80

Dallas Thomas – G – 6’5/306 – Tennessee: 77

Barrett Jones – C/G – 6’5/306 – Alabama: 76

Hugh Thornton – G – 6’3/320 – Illinois: 74

Chris Barker – G – 6’3/305 – Nevada: 73

Brian Winters – G – 6’4/320 – Kent State: 71

Travis Frederick – C – 6’4/312 – Wisconsin: 70

Khaled Holmes – C – 6’3/302 – USC: 70

Early Round Target (1st-2nd):

Chance Warmack – Alabama

Powerful as a run blocker. Fast and low out of his stance, delivers the punch. Sends a jolt to defenders consistently. Freakishly long arms that are constantly extended. Strong lower half. Can anchor and control the engagement against his stiffest competition. Mobile enough to move laterally on trap plays, not a pulling guard to the outside however. Superb pass blocker, top in the class. Will tire easily, needs better conditioning. Hands aren’t always inside. Will get caught leaning/lunging. The speed of the NFL may hurt him.

I’m having a tough time projecting where exactly Warmack will go in the draft. Part of me thinks top 10. Part of me thinks top 20. When all is said and done, there is a decent chance he falls in to the Giants lap at #19. There are a lot of teams looking to add defensive line and defensive back help early. When that is the case, teams will tend to reach for talent to ensure they can get one of top guys at that position. If Warmack slips through the cracks, it would likely be a quick selection in my eyes. He is an immediate starter. He is a safe bet to perform well with the upside of being a potential Pro Bowl caliber guy very soon. Similar game to Chris Snee but with more physical presence. This would allow Boothe to play the important role of backup to several different spots and give long term stability to an important position for this scheme.

Mid Round Target (3rd-5th):

Alvin Bailey – Arkansas

Has played left and right guard. Big time physical presence that can move players as a run blocker. Engulfs defenders and will control the engagement consistently. Very long arms. Well developed frame that can hold a lot of weight. Maintains balance and strength when moving laterally, effective stretch blocker. Bends at the knees, rarely caught leaning. Started every game of his career and visibly improved each year. Pass blocking was up and down in 2012. Technique isn’t clean yet, loses track of hand placement and feet will get stationary.

Bailey was on my radar prior to the start of 2012 even though he was a junior that not many people knew about. I watched a lot of Arkansas this year, and he stood out every time. He has the most upside of all the guards in this class. If he can be coached up to refine his footwork and hand placement while continuing to physically develop, Bailey is going to be one of the top guards in football. He fits well in to the Giants scheme, looking like another Kevin Boothe at his current level of play with the obvious long term upside of improvement.

Late Round Target (6th-UDFA):

Chris Barker – Nevada

Has started every game over his 4 year career. Anchors well with the combination of tremendous lower body strength, consistent leverage, heavy hands. Moves east/west with balance and power. Wins most one-on-one battles. Hustles to the second level. Can play against speed. Not an effective pulling guard to the outside. Doesn’t deliver the violent punch, will catch defenders instead of deliver a jolt. Double moves by quick rushers give him trouble.

I really liked what I saw out of Barker in the 3 games I watched. He stands out with his ability to anchor and stay in front of his man. He doesn’t physically overwhelm anybody, but consistently gets the job done. He can get his hips in to the hole and prevent his assignment from making a play. He needs to spend a year or two developing power to his upper body though. Not an immediate starter type, as he doesn’t have a lot of experience against NFL caliber competition. Barker would present the right kind of value late because I think he can start in the league and perform well for a balanced offense.

The Plan:

This is not a deep class of interior offensive linemen. After the top 10-12 guys, there is a pretty significant drop off in talent, much more so than what I’ve graded in the past. As I said in my OT analysis, the offensive line is not stable when looking at the depth and long-term outlook. It is vital for the Giants to bring in help once the value is right. It could be in round one if Warmack falls. Barring another shocking value being available as well, Warmack needs to be the Giants 1st round pick if he is there. Otherwise, I think there will be an opportunity to draft Bailey in round 3. Both of these guys can play early in their career and help bring back the dominance at the point of attack that they’ve lacked for a couple years now. The centers in this class are nothing special, as I have them graded much lower than what I see out there projection-wise. That’s where the value of Boothe having the capability of manning that spot is very important once Baas is cut, which I expect to happen next year. If, for whatever reason, the Giants do not bring in one of those top 10-12 guys, they should ignore it completely because they already have an abundance of street free agent-type guys on the roster.