When the New York Giants drafted offensive lineman Evan Neal seventh overall in the 2022 NFL draft, he came highly touted. He and fellow rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux were expected to step in, start right away and make an immediate impact.
Neal and the rest of the offensive line is far from fixed three weeks into the season despite the Giants' surprising 2-1 record, and there certainly needs to be some improvement.
In the Giants' Week 3 showdown on Monday Night Football, Neal left plenty to be desired to say the least as his status as a rookie was exposed by the Dallas Cowboys pass rush. In fact, Neal considers Monday night's performance the worst of his life.
For head coach Brian Daboll, who stresses progress and improvement, he knew there would be a learning curve and growing pains for Neal in his rookie year.
"We just keep on building the technique. There's growing pains. I would say it's not just Ev, which he got beat a couple times on the edge by a pretty good player. There was a lot of things we could have done better," Daboll told reporters.
"And protection-wise after going through it, whether it's the chips, the (running) backs, one-one-ones against the blitzers, the inside movement, the games inside. There was quite a bit of things. But Evan's a diligent guy. We'll work on improving him and try to be better next week."
In a game where the Giants' offensive line was dominated by the Cowboys' pass rush, it made it difficult for quarterback Daniel Jones to get the offense moving.
As the Giants' season continues, the offensive line will need to improve. Regardless of the team's current record, this year is still about evaluating the roster and the young building blocks.
For Neal, the Giants hope he is a long-term piece to build around for the future. As he continues his adjustment to the NFL, the Giants will have to be patient with his progress.
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Story originally appeared on Giants Wire