Giants ‘Sneaky’ Draft Option Spells Trouble for Evan Neal

Evan Neal

Getty The New York Giants are "sneaky" candidates to make a draft move that spells trouble for Evan Neal.

Offensive line remains a problem spot for the New York Giants, one reason the team is viewed as a “sneaky” candidate to select Notre Dame tackle Joe Alt sixth overall in the 2024 NFL draft, a possibility that spells trouble for incumbent Evan Neal.

The possibility of the Giants using their first-round pick on a lineman was raised by NFL Network and “Move The Sticks” podcast host Daniel Jeremiah. He spoke to reporters during a lengthy conference call (h/t’s Eric Edholm) on Wednesday, April 17.

One of Jeremiah’s more intriguing tidbits concerned the Giants (h/t Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post): “Daniel Jeremiah ‘wouldn’t rule out #Giants” as ‘sneaky offensive line team’ that could pick Joe Alt at No. 6.”

Neal enters the picture because the player drafted seventh overall by the Giants in 2022 has struggled mightily at right tackle. He’s still slated in that spot, but Neal could face competition from free-agent arrival Jermaine Eluemunor.

Alternatively, the Giants could take Alt, the best left tackle in this rookie class and shift him over to the right. The prospect becomes more enticing given Alt’s potential to make the switch.

Joe Alt Suited to Right Tackle

Moving from left to right didn’t work for Neal, but Dunleavy did some research and found a favorable response to the idea of Alt doing the same: “I checked with a trusted talent evaluator who had no worries about Joe Alt’s ability to move to RT. I mentioned how may players I’ve seen fail going from LT to RT and he pointed to Alt’s smarts and athleticism.”

Alt proved dominant for Notre Dame, and the 6-foot-7, 280-pounder has the right physical profile to handle playing on either side of the line. He also has the right pedigree as the son of former Kansas City Chiefs’ Pro-Bowl tackle Jon Alt.

Finding a spot for Alt the younger would be a Champagne problem for the Giants after surrendering a league-high 85 sacks. Selecting Alt means adding a blocker who doesn’t buckle under a heavy workload in pass-protection, something he proved often during flawless performances early last season, per PFF College.

Alt also proved himself in the pits as a willing and blunt-force run blocker. Some of the best examples were highlighted by “Burgundy Zone” podcast host The Podfather.

These plays show Alt is powerful enough to handle a down block at the point of attack. He’s also mobile enough to pull into space and impact the second level.

The latter quality certainly sets the 21-year-old apart from Neal.

Evan Neal on Borrowed Time As Starter

Neal’s time as a starter appears limited following two dismal campaigns. He’s lost games to knee and ankle injuries, but Neal’s endured a tough time even when healthy.

Neal has lost too many battles in pass protection, like this rep to forget against the Dallas Cowboys, highlighted by CBS Sports’ Dan Schneier.

Sluggish feet and a lack of athletic range have undermined Neal’s raw physical power. There’s been talk of moving him to guard, but Eluemunor and fellow free agency signing Jon Runyan Jr. can also play inside, meaning Neal is beginning to look like the odd man out.

Locking down the right side and combining with LT Andrew Thomas to form bookend tackles would justify the Giants picking Alt over a wide receiver or a quarterback.

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