Giants: Will Beatty, Comeback Player of the Year?
If you were to make a short list of Comeback Player of the Year frontrunners after the first quarter of the season, Eli Manning would certainly have to be on it. But he wouldn’t be enjoying so much success if not for a teammate who is having his own rebound, Will Beatty. Earning the highest grade at his position after four weeks, New York’s left tackle is quickly changing the tune of many who wanted to give up on him this offseason.
It made sense when the Giants paid Beatty as a low-end franchise left tackle in the 2013 offseason. He’d earned the ninth-best grade of any offensive tackle in 2012, as the best player on an otherwise shaky and aging line. Unfortunately, as the rest of New York’s front five caved in last season, their newly-paid left tackle sunk with it. Though Beatty actually provided some good run blocking, that didn’t make up for him allowing a league-high 13 sacks in pass protection. After surrendering 25 quarterback pressures in 2012, he allowed 59 last season. Though his contract guaranteed his roster spot coming into this season, there were nevertheless plenty of fans calling for his job.
Like the rest of the Giants offense, Beatty parlayed a lusterless preseason into a poor Week 1, where he posted a -1.2 grade against the Lions. But he’s been lights-out since, allowing just one quarterback hurry in the last three games with good run blocking to boot. The turnaround hasn’t been thanks to weak competition either, as Beatty has locked horns with Calais Campbell and J.J. Watt. Brian Orakpo, who had nine QB pressures in his previous two games, was blanked by Beatty last week.
Beatty’s +10.1 grade through just four games puts him on pace for the second-highest season grade we’ve ever given a tackle. While he likely won’t keep that up, he’s making a case that the Giants have not one Comeback Player of the Year candidate on their offense, but two.