As good as Engram is, Ramczyk’s play makes it worth debating
Pro Football Focus came out this week with its list of the top 25 offensive linemen in the NFL after 13 games. For anyone who follows the blocking-challenged New York Giants it is a difficult list to look at.
There are, of course, no Giants on it. There are three members of the Philadelphia Eagles and two members of the Dallas Cowboys in the top 10. Brandon Scherff, who the Washington Redskins got to before the Giants could in 2015, is 11th. The two premier tackles in last offseason’s free agent market, Andrew Whitworth (16th) and Ricky Wagner (24th) are on the list. Want to go into the way back machine? Anthony Castonzo, bypassed by the Giants when they took Prince Amukamara 19th overall in 2011, is ranked 17th. He went to the Indianapolis Colts three picks later.
The player on the list we really need to talk about, though, is Ryan Ramczyk of the New Orleans Saints. Ramczyk, of course, is a player we talked incessantly about before the 2017 NFL Draft. He was often my choice for the Giants in mock drafts, and most analysts had him pegged as a possible selection for the Giants with the 23rd pick.
The Giants, of course, selected tight end Evan Engram. That was a choice that I anticipated before the draft, and Engram has played really well for the Giants. He has been the best tight end in the 2017 rookie class, and his numbers (55 catches, 623 yards) put him among the league’s best receiving tight ends. He will be a really good player for a long time, provided he stays healthy and the Giants build a better overall offense.
The question is this: Would the Giants have been better served to select Ramczyk in an effort to solidify the offensive line than Engram, who at times has been their only viable receiving option?
PFF said this about Ramczyk, who is 21st on their list:
PFF Elite Stat: Ramczyk sports a 96.4 pass blocking efficiency, good enough for 13th in the league.
One of the rookies of the year, Ryan Ramczyk has been excellent for the dominant New Orleans offensive line since stepping in at right tackle. The better side of his game has been run blocking, where that Saints’ line has been able to generate movement at the point of attack like no other unit in the league, but even as a pass blocker, he has surrendered just 21 total pressures all year, and been flagged five times.
John Hendrix of SB Nation’s Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles, added this:
“Ramczyk has been a tremendous pickup for the Saints, and was well worth the 32nd overall pick. He overcame his hip surgery and entered training camp learning behind Zach Strief, and he’s since held down the starting right tackle job after Strief was lost to injury against the Miami Dolphins in Week 4. He also performed well starting at left tackle for the injured Terron Armstead early in the season. If you’re into PFF, he’s consistently graded out as a Top 10 right tackle since taking over. The future is extremely promising for Ramczyk, and he’s definitely here to stay.”
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