PHOENIX — When Ben McAdoo studies the offensive linemen — the tackle position in particular — who are coming into the NFL in this year’s draft, he does so projecting them a bit down the road in their careers.
“I think you have to look at it three years down the road,” he said on Tuesday at the NFL annual meeting in Arizona. “It’s hard to say that right now. You never know how these guys are going to pan out, how they are going to develop.”
But for a team that needs immediate help at that critical position, this does not sound like a great year to be buying. Asked if this year’s class in general has less depth and fewer impact players who can be day-one starters than previous years, McAdoo conceded that “I think you could make that argument.”
That’s not to say the Giants won’t be interested in acquiring one of them. Despite their faith that Ereck Flowers, the first-round pick two years ago, will blossom into a more productive player in Year Three, they would also like to add competition for him at the spot. New Giant D.J. Fluker, added in free agency, will compete at three positions, McAdoo said — both guards and right tackle. That leaves Flowers right now as the only left tackle on the team.
“I have a lot of confidence in Ereck,” McAdoo said. “One of the best games Ereck played all year was the playoff game, the last game of the season . . . If he comes out and works hard and has a little bit of success to start the season, that confidence will come. It’s just a young player and it’s a maturing confidence that he has to go through.”
Still, McAdoo would not say that the Giants won’t be looking to push him with personnel.
“Offensive line is not just one player, it’s five guys working together and it’s depth,” he said. “You have to be able to push those guys, the five guys who are in there, and the more depth you have and the more competition you have, the better line that creates.”