Can rookie Matt Peart help fill in for Nate Solder with the New York Giants?
Just a couple days ago, a very emotional Nate Solder announced his decision to opt-out of the upcoming NFL season. In a tweet, Solder mentioned that he was opting out to protect his family as well as himself.
Solder’s son has been having an ongoing battle with cancer, and Solder himself was diagnosed in 2014 but has since recovered. Recently drafted Andrew Thomas was set to push Solder for his starting left tackle spot. But many people in the Giants organization, including legendary center Shaun O’Hara, thought Solder could still man-down the right side. With Solder now opting out, 2020 third-round pick Matt Peart could potentially slide in and start at right tackle.
At 6’7″, 318 pounds, Peart looks the part of an NFL tackle. He also recorded the longest wingspan among tackles at the combine. With a wingspan of 36 5/8-inches, it makes it more difficult for defenders to use their strength to get past him. His long arms give him the advantage of getting the “first punch” to gain leverage on his opponents.
That helped him plenty at the 2020 Senior Bowl.
After measuring superbly, Peart struggled with his on-the-field drills and athleticism. He was able to run a 5.06 40-yard dash with a 1.75 10-yard split, which is phenomenal for a tackle. But, he had a poor three-cone time (8.01 seconds) and short shuttle times (2.41 seconds). These two drills are more important for a lineman because it showcases their ability to move laterally.
Coming out of UConn, Peart started in all of his 48 games in a Huskies uniform. He mostly played at right tackle but did play a full season on the left side. What is most encouraging is Peart’s ability to improve throughout his college career. From 2018-2019, Peart’s pff run-blocking grade went from a 70.7 to a 90.1.
Peart may be solid as a run-blocker, but he still needs to improve as a pass protector. He isn’t very strong, and sometimes uses the wrong technique which allows rushers to get by him.
According to PFF, Peart allowed just seven total pressures in 415 pass-blocking snaps. This did earn him an 86.0 PFF grade, which ranked 11th among the 2020 draft class. However, many scouts questioned if his numbers were inflated due to the weaker competition he faced in the AAC.
Many scouts labeled Peart as a developmental tackle. He will have some bumps and bruises this season. But with the Marc Colombo, who coached a top offensive line unit with the Cowboys, joining the Giants, and getting thrown into the fire; Peart has a real opportunity to be the Giants’ right tackle for this season, and years to come.
First, he must beat out Nick Gates, who appeared in 16 games and started three of them for the Giants. And, Cam Flemming who has previous experience working with Colombo.