New York Giants offensive lineman Evan Neal is not off to a great start to his NFL career. He was the seventh overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Alabama. A lot of Giants fans already think that Neal is a bust and should be benched.

However, general manager Joe Schoen thinks that he could be the starting right tackle this season. During the offseason, the Giants decided to make a change with the offensive line coach. They fired Bobby Johnson and brought in Carmen Bricillo to be the new offensive line coach.

New York GiantsEvan Neal
Jan 8, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants offensive tackle Evan Neal (73) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Bricillo was the Las Vegas Raiders offensive line coach last season. Las Vegas had an average offensive line, but that is all the New York Giants really need. During OTAs on Thursday, he met with the media to talk about Evan Neal. Bricillo said:

“Don’t judge a player when they’re young and don’t judge a player when they’re injured.”

He also noted that the offensive line is a “developmental” position. Things could change for Evan Neal in 2024, but time will tell.

Pro Football Focus Lists New York Giants Offensive Line Evan Neal As An X-Factor Entering the 2024 Season

New York GiantsEvan Neal
Aug 18, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor (2) throws the ball asCarolina Panthers linebacker Deion Jones (53) is blocked by offensive tackle Evan Neal (73) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Wyman and Dalton Wasserman of Pro Football Focus mentioned an x-factor for the upcoming 2024 season on each team. For the Giants, they have offensive tackle Evan Neal on that list. The reasoning they gave was as follows:

Evan Neal’s struggles are emblematic of the Giants’ offensive line struggles as a whole. He has posted just a 42.5 overall grade through his first two seasons. 2024 is a make-or-break year for Neal, and there could be pressure on him to perform early in the season, with Jermaine Eluemunor fully capable of starting at right tackle in his stead.”

Eluemunor was with the New England Patriots last season. The New York Giants offensive line was by far the biggest weakness on the roster. Evan Neal missed several games last season because of an ankle injury. He has to show improvement in 2024 or the Giants fanbase will continue to call him a bust.

New York Giants Evan Neal
New York Giants offensive tackle Evan Neal (73) stretches next to his helmet before of a regular season NFL football matchup Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
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Some feel like New York did not do enough to fix the offensive line this offseason. They also signed Jon Runyan from the Green Bay Packers, but it will also be important for left tackle Andrew Thomas to stay healthy also. If the offensive line can be better this season as a whole with Evan Neal improvement, the Giants will be able to score more points on offense.

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Glenn Kaplan is a sports writer covering all things NFC East related and SEC related on Gridiron Heroics, mainly the New York Giants. He also writes for Wisconsin Sports Heroics.

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