New York Giants: 3 players that need to step up on defense in 2020

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers

3.) Leonard Williams

The Giants invested the franchise tag on Leonard Williams, who they acquired from the New York Jets for a third-round pick last season. Over eight games with the Giants, Williams posted 0.5 sacks, 26 combined tackles, 11 quarterback hits, and a 3.7% missed tackle rate. He played on just 33% of defensive snaps with Big Blue, but he made a difference in the trenches, helping Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawrence maximize their strengths.

The success of the defense heavily relies on Williams and his production moving forward. Investing top dollar on a player with such minimal production from a pass rush standpoint is a bit worrisome, but he has the talent to be the player Gettleman knows he can be.

Think of it this way, Gettleman invested the franchise tag on Williams, and considering the team is in the middle of a rebuild, it is smart to keep him off a long-term deal. If he performs well in 2020, they can offer him a multi-year extension, so they have the option of cutting bait after this season or resigning him on a fresh deal.