With the New York Giants making the transition from the 4-3 to the 3-4 defense, drafting a young defensive lineman to hold down the fort and solidify the unit was a priority.The Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman drafted North Carolina State lineman B.J. Hill, in the third-round of the 2018 NFL draft.
After the hiring of defensive coordinator James Bettcher, Hill made perfect sense to feature on the three an front the former Arizona DC was preparing to install.
According to Giants.com, Hill stated in regard to making the change to the 3-4:
â€œItâ€™s the same, playing the five (technique) or four-I (technique) is just like playing the one or three back in college, itâ€™s not a big difference. I had to learn that and coach said just treat it like a one or three.â€
Bettcher produced one of the leagues most blitz-heavy defenses in 2017, and we shouldnâ€™t anticipate him stopping there. He expects his down lineman to penetrate and wreck havoc in the backfield, not sit back on the line and wait for help from the linebackers.
â€œHe doesnâ€™t want us sitting on the line,â€ Hill said. â€œHe wants us getting penetration, knock the offensive line back, and create a new line of scrimmage so you can make the play or the person beside you [makes the play].â€
The 3-4 defense relies heavily on the effectiveness of the defensive line so the linebackers can exploit the gaps and get into the backfield. Arizona Cardinalsâ€™ Chandler Jones is a perfect example of the potential of the system. He recorded a league-high 17 sacks last season after making the transition to outside linebacker. Basically, the defensive line would penetrate the interior, forcing the tackles to squeez allowing players like Chandler and now Olivier Vernon to beat the edge and find the quarterback.
Having a collective unit of veteran defensive lineman will only help Hill, as he is expected to fill the third starting role as a rookie. Practicing long side Damon Harrison, one of the best DTâ€™s in the league, and a rising star in Dalvin Tomlinson, will benefit Hill tremendously.