Giants’ bruising 2nd-year defensive lineman could play a large role this season

New York Giants defensive tackle Jordon Riley (95) participates in drills during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Facility

The New York Giants have built what looks to be one of the best defensive lines in the NFL on paper this offseason. However, the unit, despite its talent, is not without its faults.

Dexter Lawrence leads the group as the Giants’ All-Pro defensive tackle. But alongside Lawrence is a potential weakness on the interior. The Giants do not have a clear-cut starting interior defender to play on the line with Lawrence, which could lead to a potential training camp battle this summer.

Jordon Riley could earn a starting role on the Giants’ defensive line

Dec 17, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Jordon Riley (95) warms up before the game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Second-year defensive lineman Jordon Riley will be in the mix for the vacant starting position. The 2023 seventh-round draft pick did not receive much regular-season playing time as a rookie, despite being one of the team’s standout performers during the preseason.

Riley is a 6-foot-5, 315-pound defensive lineman who finished his collegiate career with the Oregon Ducks. As a rookie, he was only on the field for 136 defensive snaps, playing a minimal rotation role for the Giants. He totaled eight combined tackles and one tackle for loss on those snaps and appeared in only eight games.

Entering this season, the lack of an established starter in the position that Riley plays could lead him to a summer breakout. He should receive more opportunities to compete with the first team in practice, which could allow Riley to shine his potential and earn a larger role in the defense.

If Riley plays well during the summer practices and the preseason, he could find himself playing a much larger role by the time the regular season rolls around in September.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: