A look at the Giants’ new run-stopping unit

New York Giants
Sep 14, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) fights for yards as New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) tackles with inside linebacker Blake Martinez (54) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have bolstered their front seven this offseason after struggling to defend the run throughout the 2022 season. The Giants surrendered 144.2 rushing yards per game last season, ranking 27th in the NFL. With some familiar faces and new additions, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale can feel far more confident in his new run-stopping unit entering 2023.

The Giants’ new-and-improved run defense

The Giants’ defense possessed two of the top defensive linemen in the NFL last season, despite the team’s inability to stop the run. Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams combine to create one of the best DT duos in the league. However, outside of Lawrence and Williams, New York’s front line lacked run-stopping talent.

Wink Martindale runs an aggressive 3-4 defensive system that has typically excelled in stopping the run. In this system, New York needs three quality down linemen. Lawrence and Williams made up two-thirds of the front line, however, a rotation of replacement-level starters in Justin Ellis and Henry Mondeaux left the Giants week at their DT spot. New York’s recent acquisitions of DTs A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches should solve this issue.

In addition to lacking depth on the defensive line, the Giants also possessed arguably the worst linebacker corps in the NFL in 2022. New York opened the season with Tae Crowder and Austin Calitro as their two starting inside linebackers. Neither player made it through the end of the regular season still on the roster.

jalin hyatt, giants
Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt (11) with a catch during the NCAA college football game against Missouri on Saturday, November 12, 2022 in Knoxville, Tenn. Ut Vs Missouri

Tennessee QB claims Giants’ 3rd round pick is the now the fastest player in the NFL

The New York Giants made it a priority to add speed to their offense this offseason. GM Joe Schoen brought
new york giants, isaiah hodgins
Jan 1, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins (18) reacts after catching a touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants are building a dominant red-zone offense

The New York Giants have made substantial improvements in their red zone efficiency, climbing from 32nd in 2021 to the
dalton risner, giants
Sep 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Denver Broncos guard Dalton Risner (66) against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Giants could add depth to guard with the Broncos free agent

The New York Giants made a massive upgrade to the interior of their offensive line, selecting center John Michael Schmitz
jalin hyatt, giants
***DUP***Tennessee defensive lineman LaTrell Bumphus (11)/Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt (11) trying to get past Missouri defensive back Jaylon Carlies (1) during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, November 12, 2022 in Knoxville, Tenn. Ut Vs Missouri

Giants have rookie 3rd round pick fielding punts at OTAs

The New York Giants kicked off “Phase 3” of their offseason this week, holding their first practice of OTAs on
daniel bellinger, new york giants

New York Giants: OTA standouts from Day 1

The New York Giants kicked off their 2023 off-season training program with the first day of Organized Team Activities (OTAs)
yodny cajuste, giants
Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (72) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Giants bring in promising swing tackle for a visit

The New York Giants are bringing in a promising swing tackle for a visit this week, per NFL Network Insider
new york giants, isaiah hodgins
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins (18) runs with the ball against Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) during the third quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Giants have a ‘best-kept secret’ on the roster

The New York Giants added plenty of notable talent to their offense this offseason, grabbing headlines with the acquisitions of
parris campbell, new york giants
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell (1) rushes the ball after making a long reception Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, during a game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

3 Giants to keep an eye on at the start of OTAs

The New York Giants are kicking off “Phase 3” of their offseason today with OTAs officially set to kick off.
ryan cowden, giants
Tennessee Titans quarterback Logan Woodside (5) tries to throw past Vice President of player personnel Ryan Cowden during practice at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. Nas 0831 Titans 009

Giants add premier talent evaluator to already stacked front office

Already boasting one of the top front offices in football, the New York Giants persist in integrating high-quality personnel into
aaron robinson, new york giants

Could Giants see resurgence from form 3rd round cornerback?

The New York Giants have a position battle brewing on defense. Despite having veteran Adoree’ Jackson and rookie Deonte Banks

By season’s end, the Giants were starting the likes of rookie Micah McFadden and veterans Jaylon Smith and Jarad Davis at the off-ball linebacker spots. New York’s lack of talent in their linebacker corps was put on full display during the team’s postseason defeat to the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles.

After surrendering 268 rushing yards to the Eagles in the Divisional Round, Giants GM Joe Schoen made it a priority to add run-stopping talent this offseason. His biggest attempt to do so came in the way of free agency signing Bobby Okereke. The 26-year-old LB totaled 151 combined tackles for the Colts last season before signing a four-year, $40 million deal with the Giants as their new LB1.

New York also extended veteran OLB Jihad Ward this offseason. Ward is a capable run-defender who provided Martindale with solid depth on the edge last year.

A couple of big signings in free agency have put the Giants’ run defense in a much better spot entering this weekend’s 2023 NFL Draft. With some added depth in the draft, New York’s run-stopping unit should be much improved in 2023.