What the New York Giants get at OL Jamil Douglas
The Giants have been busy this offseason reshaping their offensive line, and their latest addition through free agency is offensive guard Jamil Douglas.
Originally selected in the fourth round by the Dolphins in the 2015 NFL Draft, Douglas has also played for Tennessee, Washington and Buffalo. The Giants will be the 30-year-old veteran free agent’s fifth team, and he will most likely be called upon to provide depth and versatility on the inside, where he has experience as a guard and center.
Let’s see what Douglas brings to the offensive line and where his game still needs more coaching.
Strengths: Deceptive speed and versatility
Douglas is deceptively quick for a player as thick as him. This manifests in its first stage. He was getting rid of the ball quickly and quickly attacking a defender. His ability to shoot and climb to the second level is also more than acceptable, as this is valuable in an attack that will want to send their weapons into space as quickly as possible.
This quickness also allows him to pass the set quickly, stop second level pressures in a confined space and adapt to defensive line stunts where the tackle and end exchange.
He can push past defenders and lock eyes on the future target. He also holds up well to various rushing passing moves from defenders, especially inside rushers trying to beat offensive linemen with their speed.
In addition to his knowledge of the system – remember he was at Buffalo a bit – his versatility will be a plus. As previously reported, he played both guard and center in the NFL, two positions the Giants have focused on improving this offseason.
In addition to those positions, Douglas was a tackle at Arizona State University, although we don’t see him playing at that level unless it was a serious emergency. Douglas may or may not be a starter on this offensive line, but his value cannot be mistaken as he can play all three positions in a pinch.
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The best-case scenario for New York is that Douglas can exist as a “super-sub” and sixth or seventh man. It provides more flexibility in the lineup on game day. He is also familiar with the terminology of the offense due to his time in Buffalo. He should therefore have a head start on learning all positions and can serve as a resource to his teammates on the nuances of the system.
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Weak point: lack of refinement and finishing ability
One knock on Douglas coming out of college was that he was a finesse blocker. Despite having a build that suggests otherwise, Douglas does not consistently attach to defenders and chase them off the ball in the running game.
When he pulls or climbs and makes contact, he doesn’t always finish the job. Although his passing pro is good due to his quick feet, he is vulnerable to bull rush by defensive tackles who realize he is not anchoring in his setup.
Some of these shortcomings could be attributed to the fact that he did not have the opportunity to master a skill due to the positions he held in his football career. Additionally, moving to different teams and different coaching positions can lead to a lack of continuity, affecting technique.
It may be too late for Douglas to develop that level of sophistication in his career, but going back to a system he knows certainly can’t hurt the cause. It’s possible those shortcomings will continue to show up with extended playing time, but Douglas should be ready to play whether it’s a game or a series.
The need for depth is obvious, especially with the 17-game schedule and only one playoff team receiving a bye. Douglas provides the Giants with more depth due to his ability and versatility.
Does he fill a starting role for New York? Probably not, but what he can provide is invaluable on game day. His presence also helps the Giants set up their big board to seek out the best players available and not meet the needs, which seems to be what this new front office regime wants.