– by Alexander George
When the Cleveland Browns drafted offensive lineman, Austin Corbett (Nevada) with the 33rd pick of the second round in the NFL draft, almost instantaneously thereafter, the New York Giants selected their second round pick. In fact, the selection was so quick that there was a backlog in announcing the Giants pick. What may be considered the most essential draft pick to this organization since right guard Chris Snee in 2004, who ironically was drafted in the exact same numerical order in the draft as well, the Giants went with left guard Will Hernandez from the UTEP Miners with the 34th pick.
Will Hernandez and Chris Snee both had similar college accolades. Both were considered for the “Second All-American” team as well as their first team choice in their respective conferences. And if history repeats itself, when Hernandez is retired from the Giants many years from now, he will have a couple of All-Pro and Pro Bowl awards just like Snee.
The New York Giants are hoping that Will Hernandez can duplicate Chris Snee’s endurance of playing in a substantial amount of NFL games as well. Snee played in six straight full sixteen game seasons with the Giants. Hernandez has managed to start in forty-nine consecutive games in UTEP.
These two guards have been able to endure playing in all these games due to being the tough, strong, big-bodied players known as what general manager Dave Gettlemen would define as the “big mollies”.
Take a look at how Will Hernandez played in college and the term “big mollie” definitely fits. A player who will pulverize an opposing defender to the ground in order to create a lane for the running back, Hernandez uses this power-heavy approach in the trenches of the offensive line to help establish an inside running game for the lead offensive back. And this is all done with a mean streak attitude as evidenced by a few scuffles Hernandez got into at the Giants o.t.a.’s; most noticeably butting heads with defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison.
These feisty “big mollie” qualities are present in both the 2007 and this seasons Giants offensive line. And with a “big mollie” physique comes run blocking dominance. It is already evident in the Tom Coughlin head coaching era (2004 – 2015), with drafted right guard Chris Snee paving the way for the all-time greatest Giant rusher Tiki Barber. The organization is hoping Will Hernandez can be that final piece needed to give Saquon Barkley a thousand yard rushing season and make the Giants a powerhouse running team again for the first time in almost a decade.