Three Ex-Giants Land in PFF’s Top 32 Guards List

So it’s certainly fair to wonder if, over the years, the team’s retention of three offensive line members who landed on Pro Football Focus’s top 32 guards ahead of 2024 training camp might have made a difference.


According to author Thomas Valentine, the three guards who previously had ties to the Giants that made the list were guard Mark Glowinski (31st), Will Hernandez (23rd), and Kevin Zeitler (6th).


Glowinski was released earlier this off-season after falling out of favor last year after recording one of his worst career games in the Week 1 blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys last year. That performance was the catalyst to send him to the bench, where he remained except for when he needed to fill in for injured players.


“Glowinski is a nine-year veteran and, up until 2023, has more or less been a constant starter at all of his stops,” Valentine said. “He started only six games for the New York Giants in 2023 but was still dependable when needed. Glowinski’s 64.8 PFF overall grade ranked 25th in the NFL, and he had seven games with a 70.0-plus pass-blocking grade.”


Hernandez, a second-round pick by the Giants in 2018, started strong as a rookie for the Giants with pass-blocking efficiency ratings of just over 97 in his first two seasons. His third season saw him miss half of the year, as COVID knocked him out for a couple of games, and Shane Lemieux eventually replaced him as left guard.


The following season, Hernandez reclaimed his left guard spot but was among the team leaders in penalties with eight. The Giants let him walk in free agency, and he signed with the Arizona Cardinals, where he’s been since.


“Hernandez has looked more comfortable since signing with the [Arizona] Cardinals, earning 65.0-plus PFF overall grades in back-to-back seasons,” Valentine said. “The former Giant has become a more than reliable pass-blocker during that time, too, and his 70.2 pass-blocking grade in 2023 was the 14th-highest mark among guards.”


Zeitler was the one move that probably hurt the most. Acquired in the Olivier Vernon trade with the Browns after the 2018 season, Zeitler was a salary cap cut by the Giants after the 2020 season. Zeitler, who joined the Lions this past off-season, then signed with the Ravens, where last year he was voted to his first Pro Bowl.


“Zeitler earned the first Pro Bowl nod of his career in 2023, a long-overdue accolade for the veteran guard,” Valentine said. “He has consistently been one of the best pass-blocking guards in the NFL since he was drafted by the Bengals in 2012.


“After three years with the Ravens, Zeitler joined the [Detroit] Lions this offseason and will become an integral part of an already stellar offensive line. His 82.5 PFF pass-blocking grade in 2023 ranked second, and his pass-blocking grade has dipped below 70.0 only once in his career, back in 2020.”


Seeing how some of the Giants former offensive linemen have gone on to reach new career heights, it’s certainly fair to wonder why they didn’t work out quite as well during their time with the Giants. We can guess as to what that reason was, but we may never know what might have been.

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