At the start of the spring, there were questions regarding how the starting offensive line might look.
Many of those questions seem to have been resolved for now. Barring injury, J.D. Walton should be the guy at center for this season.
Chris Snee should open up the season at right guard but I suspect at some point he might yield to second-round pick Weston Richburg.
Free-agent acquisition Geoff Schwartz will be the starter at left guard and Justin Pugh will be the starting right tackle.
The starting left tackle? On paper, it should be Will Beatty; however, Beatty, who suffered a broken leg six months ago, has been unable to work out this spring. When asked about Beatty (as well as receiver Mario Manningham, who also hasn’t been able to practice this spring), head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters, “Supposedly they’ll be ready for the fall.”
Beatty is coming off his worst season as a pro. Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he finished 2013 with an overall grade of minus-6.3, giving up a career-high 13 sacks and an alarming 39 quarterback hurries. Not surprisingly, Beatty’s pass-blocking grade was an disconcerting minus-14.3.
The year before was a much different story as Beatty was one of the top left tackles in the NFL. PFF graded him with a 22.3 overall mark and a 14.4 grade in pass-blocking in 2012, a season in which he allowed just three sacks and 22 quarterback hurries.
Because the Giants have big money tied up in Beatty, he is going to be their starting left tackle once he is physically able to return to the gridiron.
However, he’s missed very valuable practice time while rehabbing his leg.
If Beatty isn’t ready to go by the start of training camp—and I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts training camp on the PUP list—the Giants will probably open up with Charles Brown as their left tackle. (John Jerry has been sidelined this spring as well as he recovers from knee surgery.)
Per PFF, Brown wasn’t that much better than Beatty last year, finishing with a minus-9.2 overall grade, and a minus-13.6 pass-blocking grade that saw him surrender 7.0 sacks and 33 quarterback hurries.
Another possibility at left tackle is James Brewer, but he hasn’t really worked much at tackle in live games.
Again, Beatty will “supposedly” be ready to go by the fall. The big question is how much will the lost practice time set him back in terms of the offense.
We'll find out soon enough.
Patricia Traina is the senior editor for Inside Football. All quotes and information obtained firsthand, unless otherwise noted. Follow me on Twitter, @Patricia_Traina.