The New York Giants made a big splash on the first day of the NFL’s free-agency period, inking one of the best available guards to a deal that should immediately improve what was one of the worst offensive lines in 2013.
Geoff Schwartz is a former seventh-round pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2008. Though he will be playing for his fourth team in seven seasons, it says little about his ability on the football field.
According to Pro Football Focus, Schwartz rates as the league’s fourth-best guard since entering the league (via Pete Damilatis).
Since he entered the league, Geoff Schwartz has a +4.3 @PFF grade per 100 snaps played, 4th-best rate of any guard in the NFL.
— Pete Damilatis (@PFF_Pete) March 11, 2014
For a Giants offensive line that was the key contributor to a disappointing campaign in 2013, the addition of Schwartz should be huge. His versatility will give the G-Men a number of options to play with, and their intentions will likely become more clear when the offseason has come to a completion. Most expect Schwartz to play left guard opposite veteran Chris Snee, however, others believe he may be used at tackle instead.
Hearing that the Giants will be looking to plug Geoff Schwartz in at tackle rather than guard. He will add some much needed anchor up front
— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) March 11, 2014
Seeing as Schwartz is a better run blocker, it may be wise to use him at his natural position. Will Beatty’s 2013 season was not exactly promising, but the franchise left tackle deserves another season to prove his worth. Being patient could payoff for the Giants, as they’d have a great opportunity to succeed with Beatty, Schwartz and second-year tackle Justin Pugh anchoring the line in front of quarterback Eli Manning.
The Giants’ uncharacteristic workload thus far in free agency brought them a gem and they should reap the rewards. Schwartz is what PFF considers to be the “prize of this year’s free agent guard class.” (h/t Big Blue View) If he could live up to the expectations, Big Blue should be in much better shape on offense next season.