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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NFL.com Mock Drafts: Giants Projected to Select Offensive Tackle Taylor Lewan

On Friday, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com became the fourth expert on the website to project the New York Giants to select Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan with the 12th overall pick. Lewan could help provide extra protection for Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning.

The Giants’ offensive line had trouble protecting fostering a good offensive attack this past season.

They ranked 31st in pass blocking, 16th in run blocking and fourth in penalties. This contributed to Khaled Elsayed of profootballfocus.com ranking the Giants’ offensive line as the 29th-worst unit.

They allowed the opposing defense to sack Manning and back-up quarterback Curtis Painter a combined 40 times, Manning was sacked 39 times, and hit them 83 times. This led to Manning having his worst statistical regular season since his rookie year; 2004 season.

This past season, he completed only 57.7 percent of his passes and had 3,818 passing yards. He also  finished the season with only 18 touchdown passes and a league-worst 27 interceptions thrown.

Elsayed analyzed the performance of the offensive line succeeding the season.

Injuries didn’t help, with the loss of David Bass seeing Kevin Boothe move to center where he would struggle. That created all sorts of shuffling and was further compounded by Chris Snee having his season ended after 188 snaps. Throw in Will Beatty responding to getting paid with a huge drop off from his 2012 season and you have the perfect storm. A once proud unit is now a major question mark.”

This strongly contributed to the Giants finishing the season with a 7-9 record. It was their worst season since the 2004.

The offensive line is key to a team finishing with a good or bad record on a yearly basis. The Giants really need to upgrade their offensive line if they hope to improve their record next season.

Lewan might be a good start in upgrading the team’s offensive line. Four different NFL.com experts have projected the Giants to select him with their first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft; as aforementioned.

Brooks was the most recent expert, the others were Matt Smith, Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis, to have his Mock Draft posted on NFL.com. Brooks wrote his thoughts on why the Giants should select Lewan.

(General Manager) Jerry Reese needs to fortify the frontline after watching Eli Manning nearly beaten to pulp in the pocket. Lewan is an underrated athlete with a game that is quickly rounding into form.”

He is listed on his NFL.com Draft profile at 6-feet, 7-inches tall and weighing 350 pounds. He is also listed as playing left tackle while attending the University of Michigan.

Lewan’s performance as a member of the Wolverines showed that he is capable of being an impact performer in the NFL.

As a member of the Wolverines, he started 48 of 50 games, according to his NFL.com Draft profile. This shows that he is durable and could be a fixture in the starting lineup.

Lewan’s performance with the Wolverines resulted in him receiving Conference, Big Ten, and National  recognition.

He was named to the All-Big Ten team three times. In 2011, he was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team and in 2012 and 2013 he was named to the All-Big Ten First Team, according to his NFL.com Draft profile.

Lewan also achieved national recognition. He was named a Second-Team All-American in 2013, according to his NFL.com Draft profile.

This shows that Lewan can excel against top collegiate defensive linemen. This also shows that he has a sky-high ceiling for his future NFL success.

The Giants could really use someone to protect Manning’s blindside. Lewan could be the ‘right’ person to protect his blindside for many years to come.

Tags: Taylor Lewan

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