It's no secret Dave Gettleman loves big guys. Or, as he calls them, "hog mollies." The Giants general manager maintains the old-school philosophy that the game is won in the trenches, and he's done all he can during his tenure in charge to make the team fit that mold.
To protect quarterback Eli Manning's blind side, Gettleman signed All-Pro tackle Nate Solder from New England. Another notable move was selecting guard Will Hernandez, who started all 16 games at guard last season, in the second round. But Solder took a step back from his Patriots days, Hernandez had to learn on the fly as a rookie, and an injury to center Jon Halapio early in the year left the Giants thin at the position.
Plus, a hole still exists at right tackle.
Enter Jonah Williams, perhaps the "hoggiest" "molly" in the 2019 draft class. The Giants will have two first round picks come Thursday. Will Gettleman be able to pass on the Alabama product with more than one pass at him?
Projected Pick: First round
Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 302 pounds
College: 44 consecutive games, started every one (29 left tackle, 15 right tackle)
Combine: 5.21 40-yard dash, 22 bench reps
A durable lineman who can step into a starting role from Day 1? There's a lot to like with the former Crimson Tide lineman. For one, the former five-star recruit started for Nick Saban's program during his freshman year -- 15 games at right tackle, before starting the next two seasons at left tackle.
That ability to play both sides of the line surely raises Williams' stock. He's modeled his game after perennial All-Pro and future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas, and has improved every season. He focuses on the fundamentals and possesses a quick first step. The California native has commendable body control and combines that with formidable strength in the trenches.
Williams also has the intangibles covered. He's a heady player who has been called a "football addict" by his former coaches. The level of commitment to the game is on display through the spreadsheets he compiles to assess opponents' strengths and weaknesses.
Some talent evaluators have expressed concern over Williams' arm length -- the arms measured at 33 5/8 inches with 10 1/8-inch hands. Size, in general, could be considered a weakness for him, since he's a little smaller than traditional tackle standards in the NFL.
The measurables may leave him exposed to the most explosive pass-rushers. But Williams appears to enter each matchup with a mental edge. Will it always be enough to come out on top?
Moreover, from his NFL Draft profile,"inconsistent outside hand" placement and an occasional lean into edge rushers are also considered cons for Williams.
The Giants know that after the Odell Beckham Jr. trade -- the reason they picked up No. 17, after all -- they will need to draft a pair of prospects who both immediately shed that tag and can step in to be high-impact starters.
Williams has all of the potential to fit that bill. However, the biggest hurdle for the Giants will be whether they decide to take him at No. 6, which would probably be considered a reach, or hope he falls all the way to No. 17. The Giants believe better protecting Manning will lead to a resurgence under center and an offensive line upgrade can only improve running lanes for Saquon Barkley.
One thing is clear, though: this Hog Molly has Gettleman's attention entering the week of the draft.