In the weeks leading up to last month's draft, there was widespread speculation the Giants would take a franchise left tackle in the first round. Instead, they went with cornerback Prince Amukamara in the first round, and didn't address the tackle position until th efourth round, when they chose Indiana tackle James Brewer, who played right tackle in college but is considered a prospect at left tackle.
What's it all mean to William Beatty, a second-round pick in 2009?
"After the draft, it showed me they're still looking at me for that [left tackle] position, and I still have an opportunity to prove myself," Beatty said. "My home position is left tackle, and I'm going to do everything I can to solidify that position."
The Giants' plans are on hold, of course, due to the lockout. But once the labor situation is resolved, Beatty sees himself as the starter. If that's the case, then incumbent David Diehl would likely move to left guard, where Rich Seubert played until suffering a knee injury in the final game last season. Seubert's rehab is going well, but it's uncertain whether he'll be ready for the season. And center Shaun O'Hara is coming off two off-season foot surgeries.
"When I got here, they had a lot of plans for me," said Beatty, who played at Connecticut before being drafted. "They had high expectations that they wanted me to reach."
Beatty's primary focus is putting on some more weight and adding strength.
"It's about getting bigger and stronger and looking more like a left tackle, so they won't say, 'Maybe he's a tight end, maybe he's a left tackle,'" Beatty said. "[The Giants] want me at 310-315, but they want me as a solid 310-315. Right now, I'm about 305 during the off-season. Take off the fat, then put on the muscle. I’m on a nice program so tht by the time August comes, I'm a solid 315."
Giants general manager Jerry Reese has played his cards right at left tackle, in part by going against conventional wisdom. When the team released Luke Pettitgout after the 2006 season, they went with Diehl, who had previously played guard, as their left tackle. The team won the Super Bowl in 2007, and Diehl established himself as a quality pass blocker.
So passing up on blue chip left tackles in the draft - Anthony Castonzo of Boston College, Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi and James Carpenter of Alabama were still on the board when the Giants picked in the first round - was another gamble Reese was willing to take.