Eli Manning. (Photo: Getty Images)

It was about survival in the pocket last year for Eli Manning as the New York Giants quarterback had one of the fastest releases in the NFL last year. This alone is simply reason enough for the Giants to consider trading back in the first round.

 

 

 

Manning had the fifth-fastest release time in the NFL last year, averaging just 2.5 seconds in the pocket before throwing the ball. It was clearly by design as the Giants had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year, leading to not only constant pressure for Manning in the pocket but also contributing to one of the worst rushing attacks in the league.

 

 

 

As such, continuing to fix the offensive line must be a priority for the Giants. It doesn’t make sense to draft a successor for Manning until this line is fixed.

 

 

All of which can make the Giants sitting at the second pick in prime position to upgrade the line.

 

The additions of left tackle Nate Solder and guard Patrick Omameh will help the line, no doubt, but it isn’t enough. Given what seems to be an arms race for quarterbacks, the Giants might be able to cash in and get some true value with that second pick that can help build up this offensive line to something respectable.

 

A team like the Buffalo Bills, sitting with picks No. 12 and No. 22 as well as a cache of Day 2 selections, might just be able to entice the Giants into a deal. With those picks, the Giants could absolutely add some starting quality to their offensive line.

 

Potentially, interior linemen such as UTEP’s Will Hernandez or Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn could be good Day 2 selections were the Giants to load up on second-round picks via a trade. There is also the chance that later in the first round a tackle such as Chukwuma Okorafor from Western Michigan or UCLA’s Kolton Miller could be squarely in the mix.

 

Such a move might let the Giants push tackle Ereck Flowers inside as the line gets younger, talented and more athletic. A building block series of moves.

 

It is clear that given their state, the Giants can’t take a quarterback in the first round and have him develop and play behind their current offensive line. The type of hits Manning has taken the past two seasons can kill a young quarterback’s confidence and ability to develop.

 

That 2.5 seconds to throw number might suggest that the Giants need to upgrade their line first before they think about drafting a quarterback in the first round.