The New York Giants coaching staff and front office were both watching closely at the 2024 Senior Bowl last week — which concluded on February 3.
On the offensive line, one player appeared to catch the eye of new OL coach Carmen Bricillo according to Chris Pflum of SB Nation’s Big Blue View. “It’s also notable that new Giants’ offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo was spotted talking to [Jackson] Powers-Johnson,” Pflum reported after talking up the interior OL prospect out of Oregon.
“Scouts and coaches will talk to everyone,” the media member added, “but it’s still worth taking note of.”
Powers-Johnson was a popular Senior Bowl standout on social media throughout practices. Pro Football Focus draft scout Trevor Sikkema voiced that he “cannot say enough” about how impressive the Oregon product looked.
“Dominating at center and guard,” Sikkema noted. “Wins consistently with power, but here he shows the patience and quickness, too.”
Giants Could Target Jackson Powers-Johnson in Round 2 of NFL Draft — or Trade Up to Get Him
It’s unclear exactly where Powers-Johnson will be selected in April. Pflum relayed that the blocker “came into the week as one of the top two or three centers in the draft, and will exit with that status intact.”
Having said that, top guards and centers sometimes drop to round two, depending on the year.
NFL draft expert Daniel Jeremiah placed Powers-Johnson 35th during his first top-50 prospect ranking of the offseason on January 30.
“Powers-Johnson has experience at all three interior offensive line spots and has spent time at defensive tackle, as well,” Jeremiah scouted. “He was outstanding at the center position in 2023, and that’s where I expect him to play at the next level.”
With the Giants, a Powers-Johnson selection could shift 2023 draft pick John Michael Schmitz to guard, or vice versa.
“He has good size, exceptional quickness and steady balance,” Jeremiah went on. “In pass pro, he sets vertically and is able to catch and absorb versus power rushers. He does an excellent job reworking his hands to maintain position and is a nasty helper when uncovered.”
Continuing: “In the run game, he uses his upper-body power to torque/turn defenders, generating a lot of movement at the point of attack. He is quick working up to the second level and takes good angles. Overall, there aren’t many holes in his game. I love his bulldog playing style.”
General manager Joe Schoen could target Powers-Johnson with the first of his two second-round selections. He could also trade back up into round one to try and land the top-tier IOL.
Giants Need to Add 2-4 Offensive Linemen in 2024
After the 2023 campaign was lost in large part due to injuries and struggles on the offensive line, it’s time the Giants take this issue seriously and prioritize adding more starting-caliber blockers.
Andrew Thomas and Schmitz are the only two players that should be locked into roles on this unit. Beyond that, younger prospects like Evan Neal, Joshua Ezeudu, Marcus McKethan and Jalen Mayfield will compete in training camp, as will veterans OTs Joshua Miles and Yodny Cajuste and veteran center Jimmy Morrissey — if they make it that far.
That doesn’t include unrestricted free agents like Ben Bredeson, Tyre Phillips, Matt Peart, Shane Lemieux, Wyatt Davis and J.C. Hassenauer. Nor does it include potential cap casualty Mark Glowinski.
Based on the reliability of this current group, Big Blue should attempt to bring in two-to-four new offensive linemen in free agency and the draft. That would hopefully give them a competent starting five and enough quality depth to account for injury.
The O-line should be Schoen’s top concern heading into March and April.
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