New York Giants: Adam Bisnowaty isn’t a team savior

Adam Bisnowaty may one day become a starter on the offensive line of the New York Giants, but expectations should be low for his rookie year.

On paper, the New York Giants seemingly have the goods to compete for a division title, conference championship and a trip to the Super Bowl. Big Blue will feature what should be a formidable passing attack, and the team’s defense should be as good, if not better, than the unit that helped the club win 11 games and earn a spot in this past January’s playoffs.

Every team — yes, even the New England Patriots — has flaws. And New York’s biggest gap is again likely to be somewhere on its offensive line. Specifically, all eyes will be on left tackle Ereck Flowers during summer practices and preseason contests. Flowers, who is about to start his third year as a pro, struggled throughout his first two seasons, so much so that many expected he would be replaced via free agency or the draft during the spring.

The Giants didn’t completely ignore the offensive front during the draft, as the club acquired tackle Adam Bisnowaty in the sixth round. More often than not, a sixth-round selection would be seen as a project who may not even make the final roster by the time all was said and done. That’s not the case with Bisnowaty, though, as some are considering slotting him in the New York lineup even though we have yet to truly see what he can be as a pro.

Recently, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News offered high praise for Bisnowaty and referred to him as an “underdog to watch” following the team’s first official workouts of 2017:

Here’s the bottom line: Bisnowaty, an extremely nice person off the field, plays nasty on it, and may beat Bobby Hart outright for the right tackle job. But even if he doesn’t, I believe Bisnowaty will be getting on the field early for the Giants anyway — in McAdoo’s package that features six linemen across the front, or even as a temporary replacement or emergency stop-gap at a variety of positions from left or right tackle to right guard.

Trust me: while Chad Wheeler is working as Ereck Flowers’ backup at left tackle and D.J. Fluker is considered competition for incumbent John Jerry at right guard, Bisnowaty is going to be McAdoo’s most trusted backup option — at least until he becomes a full-time starter.

It should be noted none of this is meant to be a knock on Leonard’s evaluations or on anybody who watched Bisnowaty work during the spring. Truth be told, it’s only a positive Bisnowaty would become an active member of the Giants starting in September. New York needs the help up front if quarterback Eli Manning is to have the type of year needed to lead the Giants to more than a one-and-done playoff appearance.

With that said, all would do well to pump the brakes regarding Bisnowaty. After all, he is a flawed prospect who fell all the way to the 200th overall pick of the 2017 draft for valid reasons. From Pro Football Focus:

Bisnowaty has flashed the ability to succeed in the run game, but it’s concerning to see his regression over the years. He should have had more success in a friendly Pittsburgh scheme, and coupled with his struggles during Senior Bowl week, there are concerns about Bisnowaty’s fit at the next level. Bisnowaty does play with great length with his arms and this shows itself both on film and his compilation of positive run-blocking grades. However, his lack of athleticism has led to a high number of negatively graded run-blocking grades also to balance out the good plays. Bisnowaty’s biggest struggles will probably come in pass protection as he struggles to quickly change directions causing him to be out of position to block the rusher.

Lance Zierlein of also didn’t hold back with his honesty while evaluating Bisnowaty:

Four-year starter with plenty of toughness. Appeared to struggle with an athletic decline in 2016, which could be due to his injury history. In a phone booth, Bisnowaty can handle himself with pure brawn and power, but once he’s forced to play in space, his athletic limitations become more pronounced. He’ll likely have to move to the right side, but athletic opponents will always cause him problems. His ceiling could be as a low-end starter while his floor is fighting for a roster spot within a couple of years.

What does all of this mean? For starters, those assuming Bisnowaty will replace Flowers in September should probably erase those expectations from your minds immediately. If anything, Bisnowaty seems likely to fill in on the right side of the offensive line when a vacancy arises due to injury or other unforeseen setback. Truth be told, the Giants will likely be facing a calamity if Bisnowaty is tasked with playing left tackle in Week 1.

Remember, also, that it often takes time for a young tackle to get acclimated to life in the NFL. Flowers was very much a first-round talent heading into the 2015 NFL Draft, and he is hardly the only tackle to stumble during his early days in the league. The NFL is littered with offensive line flops from the current decade alone, and that trend isn’t ending anytime soon.

Bisnowaty may have a bright future with the Giants, and he may even evolve into a capable starter who earns Pro-Bowl votes. For now, though, remember he is 23-year pold who is more promise than finished product and who hopefully won’t be needed to protect a two-time Super Bowl MVP at any point during the fall.

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