As we get closer to the draft, the growing feeling is that the Giants will draft an offensive lineman in the first round.
Certainly Jerry Reese did little to dispel that sentiment when asked about what they’ve done so far with what was perhaps the biggest weakness on their team last season.
“We think we’ve upgraded in some places, and obviously we’ll continue to look and see if there are more players available,” he said.
The problem is they still have a number of unresolved question marks. Left tackle Will Beatty is progressing in his recovery from a broken leg, but he might not be ready until training camp at the soonest.
If he’s not ready to go, Reese said that Charles Brown, formerly with the Saints, is “probably the next option there behind Will.”
Reese also noted that Justin Pugh, who played so well at right tackle last year, is an option for the left side, though Pugh’s lack of a long wingspan probably doesn’t bode as well for him to play on the quarterback’s blind side at this level.
“We’re just keeping all of our options open. Again, Pugh is one of those guys that can play all over your front. We like the flexibility he brings.”
Chris Snee is another question mark. While there remains a high level of optimism that Snee will be able to come back from surgeries on both hips and an elbow, it would be playing with fire to expect him to make it through an entire 16-game season.
That brings us to offensive lineman Zack Martin out of Notre Dame, who I believe will be the pick if the board falls the way I think it’s going to fall.
(Spoiler alert: Martin is my first-round pick in my full seven-round mock draft for the Giants that comes out early next week.)
Martin is a college tackle with virtually no experience at guard, even though that’s where analysts such as Rob Rang and Derek Stephens of NFL Draft Scout have projected as his best position once he hits the pros.
“I just see him as a good offensive lineman. That’s how I see him,” Reese said. “I think he has some flexibility to play both but I just see him as a good offensive lineman.”
So does NFL Network's Mike Mayock, who in a conference call with reporters described Martin as "about as safe a player" as there is in this year's draft.
"Even though I have him fourth as a tackle, he'd be my number one center or my number one guard," Mayock said.
"I believe that he is the only player in this draft that could start and play at a high level at all five offensive line positions."
If the Giants agree with Mayock's assessment, and he's there at No. 12, don't be surprised if that's the direction New York takes.