Draft positional preview: Offensive line

April, 19, 2013
4/19/13
6:00
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Reid FragelJamie Sabau/Getty ImagesThe Giants have Ohio State tackle Reid Fragel on their radar.
This is the fifth installment in a position-by-position analysis of the New York Giants as they prepare for the draft:

Position: Offensive line.

Depth chart: T Will Beatty, G Kevin Boothe, C David Baas, G Chris Snee, T David Diehl, T James Brewer, C Jim Cordle, T Brandon Mosley, T Matt McCants, T Selvish Capers, G Stephen Goodin, OL Levy Adcock, G Chris DeGeare, G Michael Jasper, G Bryant Browning.

The departed: T Sean Locklear (free agent).

Scouting report: The Giants finished 14th in rushing with 1,862 yards in 2012, up from 1,427 yards the year before. The line also surrendered 20 sacks, fewest in the league, which was down from 28 in 2011. And the line did this despite shuffling Diehl and Locklear in at right tackle during the season due to injuries.

Health has been a concern for the offensive line. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Giants used 16 different groups of five linemen, tied for 27th. Over the past four seasons, the Giants averaged 16 different combinations during a season.

Jerry Reese did a splendid job this offseason of keeping the left side of his offensive line intact by re-signing Beatty and Boothe. He also worked out a pay cut with Diehl to maintain cap space. But the Giants have to figure out who will start at right tackle, whether it will be the veteran Diehl or if Brewer is finally ready to start.

"I see him competing for right tackle, guard –- anywhere," Reese said on Thursday. "But it is time for him to get in there and play."

Cordle can play center or guard. But the Giants have to wonder how strong their depth is after their top seven guys. The Giants drafted Mosley and McCants a year ago and would like to see progress from the two in camp this summer.

Locklear was one of Reese’s best pickups last season and is recovering from a season-ending knee injury. If he’s healthy later this summer, the Giants could perhaps take a look at him if they feel the need to add more depth.

The last time: The Giants drafted Mosley in the fourth round and McCants in the sixth round last year.

Potential targets: The Giants will probably go with Diehl or Brewer at right tackle. But with Boothe and Diehl playing on one-year contracts and Snee and Baas coming off surgeries and getting up there in age, the Giants should be looking at offensive linemen in the draft to groom for the future and to provide depth for this season.

The Giants can certainly use a stud offensive lineman to add to Beatty for future seasons to come. Alabama guard Chance Warmack and North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper could both be gone by the first 12 picks but either would be a terrific addition to the Giants if one were to fall to No. 19. Warmack visited with the Giants and had dinner with offensive line coach Pat Flaherty.

Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker might also be a consideration at 19 for the Giants if he’s there. Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson is not expected to be on the board when the Giants pick.

Offensive line might provide the best value at 19 for Reese, depending on who is available. But if the GM opts to go pass rusher, cornerback, safety or linebacker in the first round, Reese could look to offensive line in the next few rounds.

Ohio State’s 6-foot-7 tackle Reid Fragel is on their radar, according to a source. Virginia Tech tackle Vinston Painter and Michigan guard Patrick Omameh have visited with the Giants according to the Newark Star-Ledger. The Giants were also in attendance for Kent State’s pro day to watch guard Brian Winters according to the Akron Beacon-Journal.

Need rating (scale of 1 to 10): 9.

How big of a need do you think offensive line is for the Giants in the draft?
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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