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Evan Neal still will get shot to ‘prove’ he can be Giants’ right tackle

At least the Giants are symmetrical about how they handle former first-round draft pick Evan Neal's complicated future.

Offensive line coach Bobby Johnson also joined general manager Joe Schon and Neal himself in thinking the struggling second-year right tackle would be better off playing guard after returning from an ankle injury. (He started one of three seasons at Alabama). He will miss his fourth straight game on Monday due to injury.

“He doesn't have the workload to say, 'He's not a tackle,' so let's give him time and opportunity. Part of that is being healthy,” offensive line coach Bobby Johnson said. Ta. “Let's not automatically assume someone can't do it just because they don't have enough work. Let's give him a chance to prove he can do it. I need to coach better. He has to play better. That applies to a lot of people. I just hope he comes back soon and we can give him a chance.”

There have been examples of high-drafted offensive tackles saving spiraling careers by becoming useful guards, including Giants' 2015 first-round pick Erec Flowers and Raiders' These include Robert Gallery (second overall to Eli Manning in 2004).

Evan Neal, who injured his ankle in the Giants' loss to the Raiders, was checked by a trainer on the field. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“If you draft a guy in the first round as a tackle and he moves to guard, is anyone going to be happy with getting a serviceable guard?” Johnson said. “No, give him a chance to work on a body of work that may or may not do what he was drafted to do. We know we want him to get better right now. He wants to get better.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Neal has allowed 30 pressures (two sacks) on 309 pass-blocking snaps, ranking 97th among offensive tackles in pass-blocking efficiency.

“I’m curious why people think if someone struggled at tackle, all of a sudden they’re a better guard,” Johnson said. “Things happen faster [inside] “Because there's less room to react to it. It's the other side of the coin that no one really talks about.”

evan neal Getty Images

Neal also missed four games as a rookie and allowed 52 pressures (eight sacks).

“I know he's working hard to get back,” Johnson said. “He still misses a lot of reps. We need to catch him up as soon as possible when he comes back.”


DT Dexter Lawrence (hamstring), DT Ashawn Robinson (hamstring), LB Isaiah Simmons (ankle), TE Daniel Bellinger (illness), and WR Parris Campbell (knee) are listed as questionable. . Mr. Campbell is a new addition to this report.

Evan Neal reacts on the field after ankle injury. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Coach Brian Daboll said Lawrence participated in individual and team drills during practice Friday and Saturday, and expressed confidence in the potential of both defensive tackles. Daboll said Bellinger arrived at the facility “still not feeling well” but was sent home.


Running backs coach Jeff Nixon is reportedly the leading candidate to become Syracuse's offensive coordinator under new head coach Fran Brown.

Nixon called it a “great opportunity” and said his goal is to become a coordinator and eventually a head coach.

“There were some discussions,” said Mr. Nixon, who worked with Mr. Brown for two years at Baylor. “Right now I'm just focused on what I'm doing here. I'm going to stay here for the rest of the season and I'm excited about the opportunity to finish this season on a strong note.”

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