One preseason game in the books. The offensive line took some positive steps forward against the Patriots. But one lineman, Ben Bredeson, took advantage of his opportunity to show he can play guard and center at a credible level.
In 2020 Ben Bredeson, 6’5″ and 315 lbs, was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round. After minimal usage in 2020, the Ravens traded him to the Giants just prior to the start of the 2021 season along with two draft picks (one of them used this year by the Giants to draft Guard Marcus McKethan) in exchange for a Giants’ 2022 fourth-round pick. This is starting to look like a pretty decent trade under Gettleman’s watch. Bredeson’s 2021 contribution as a guard was pretty nondescript…eight games played with no penalties and no sacks in 294 snaps.
But this new year and this new coaching staff seem to have breathed some renewed life and energy into Ben. I had written an article in mid-July suggesting that Bredeson might be a candidate to move to center given the glut of guards on the training camp roster, and while Nick Gates continues to rehab his leg from last year’s gruesome injury. We’ve seen Shane Lemieux and Bredeson take snaps at center while Jon Feliciano was out due to heat-related ailments as camp got underway. Well, now Lemieux is out after injuring his toe during the first series against the Patriots. And Feliciano is nursing some injuries from Sunday’s practice.
During Thursday’s game, Bredeson played a total of 64 snaps. During 38 pass plays, Bredeson gave up no pressures on the QB. He also pancaked a Patriot defender on a run play. When asked about Bredeson’s play, Coach Daboll said, “Smart, tough, dependable.” On Monday, Bredeson was the center for the first team reps. When you are getting your reps against Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence in practice, you are bound to have an accelerated learning curve which will carry over to games against other opponents. Now, if only Ben can get a helmet that fits and stays on his head.
The Giants are looking for depth and versatility along the offensive line. Feliciano, the Giants’ starting center, has a history of injuries and ailments that limit his playing time. Nick Gates may not make it back this season. Bredeson is stepping up and making his snaps count at both guard and center.
Bredeson looks to be living up to that fourth-round draft value now.
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