The Giants got some offensive line help in the second round as they drafted UTEP G Will Hernandez.
The 6-foot-2, 327-pound interior guard started 49 games over his four-year career at UTEP, and provides a much-needed force in the middle of the Giants' offensive line.
Hernandez was surrounded by family and friends in Las Vegas as he got the call from the Giants that he will be playing at MetLife Stadium next season. His excitement carried over during his conference call to local media as well.
"I'm beyond excited," he said. "The Giants all around are a great, great team. I'm just excited to be a part of the team.
"I just want to win. I just want to win games."
The Giants offensive line has been a mess for a few seasons, and GM Dave Gettleman came into New York's facility knowing he needed to fix it. With Saquon Barkley the team's first-round choice, Hernandez comes in to create holes for him to run through as well as protect veteran QB Eli Manning.
Hernandez already knows the type of responsibility he wll have in protecting someone like a two-time Super Bowl MVP in Manning.
"It was just crazy I was in the same room as him," Hernandez said on seeing Manning in his official visit with the Giants. "It's so much responsibility [to protect him]. I've got him 100 percent."
Hernandez is the first "hog mollie" to join the Giants in the 2018 Draft. Gettleman has already added free agents LT Nate Solder and G Patrick Omameh to bolster the Giants' line for next season. With Omameh likely stayingnext to Solder on the left side, Hernandez will battle with veteran G John Jerry at right guard in camp.
But where he will play on the line doesn't matter to Hernandez. He is willing to go wherever head coach Pat Shurmur needs him.
"I'm comfortable on both sides. I've always practice it. I don't worry about what's comfortable and what's not," Hernandez said. "I do whatever my teams needs of me. ...I feel like I can play right now."
As promised, here comes a Hog Molly!
Even though GM Dave Gettleman went with a dynamic playmaker in Round 1, he hasn't forgotten that his No. 1 job is fixing the Giants' broken offensive line. And this will help - a 6-foot-2, 327-pound road grader who can have a huge impact in the middle of the offensive line.
And Gettleman has made it clear, that though tackles get the spotlight (and the money), guards are just as important. And even though he's said to have a mean streak - another in-field trait Gettleman loves - Hernandez is also a well-liked kid with a strong work ethic. He's also proven to be durable, starting 37 games over four years.
What he could be, to add a little hyperbole, is Chris Snee - the guard the Giants drafted in 2004 one round after they traded for Eli Manning. That was the beginning of a line transformation that held up for years.