BREAKING: former DE Matt Nelson now the new Giants’ swing tackle

former DE Matt Nelson now the new Giants’ swing tackle

Matt Nelson was one of five offensive linemen signed in free agency by the New York Giants this offseason. The veteran swing tackle might be the one with the most tenuous path to the 53-man roster.

Let’s talk about Nelson as we continue player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

The skinny

Height: 6-foot-7
Weight: 315
Opening day age: 28
Position: Offensive tackle
Experience: 5
Contract: One-year, $1,292,500 | 2024 cap hit: $1,152,500 | Guaranteed in 2024: $75,000

Career to date

After playing collegiately at Iowa as a defensive end, Nelson signed with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2019. The Lions wanted him to be an offensive lineman. Nelson was cut at the end of training camp. but re-signed with Detroit in mid-December.

From 2020-2023, Nelson played in 43 games with 14 starts for the Lions. Eleven of those starts came in 2021 when Nelson posted a 50.8 Pro Football Focus grade in a career-most 675 snaps.

Nelson played almost exclusively at right tackle for the Lions. His 2023 season was cut short after three games, two of which were starts, by ankle surgery.

2024 outlook

Following a season in which the Giants were forced by injuries to use Josh Ezeudu and Justin Pugh at left tackle, a position where Ezeudu did not practice all spring or summer and that Pugh hadn’t played since 2015, the Giants spent the offseason trying to improve not only the starting offensive line but the depth as well.

With Tyre Phillips unsigned as he recovers from a torn quad suffered at the end of the 2023 season, Nelson could emerge as the Giants’ swing tackle. Ezeudu filled that role in the spring but Nelson practiced very little, perhaps ramping up slowly following his ankle surgery.

Could Evan Neal’s status affect Nelson? Perhaps. It will be interesting to see how much tackle Ezeudu plays once training camp begins. That might give us a hint about whether or not Nelson makes the season-opening roster.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *