New York Giants see Leonard Williams as ‘a good fit’

The New York Giants are pleased to have defensive lineman Leonard Williams in the fold. General manager Dave Gettleman came out from wherever he was hiding to speak to Giants.com columnist Michael Eisen about what Williams brings to his roster and locker room.

“It gives us a really strong inside defensive tackle rotation,” Gettleman said. “We’re very happy with the progress that B.J. Hill is making. We’re happy with Dexter Lawrence and Dalvin Tomlinson. We’re very happy with our defensive tackle group, but you’re always looking to get better. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Defensive tackles line up closer to the quarterback than defensive ends.”

Gettleman believes that Williams will be part of the cadre of players he considers his core as he rebuilds this roster.



“We gave up a three and a five. Our goal is to sign him long-term. He’s only 25-years-old. And obviously talented. He’s a piece you can build around.”

The price may seem a bit high for some, but when it comes down to brass tacks, does anyone think the Giants can get a better player than Williams with one of those picks?

“When you’re building your team, especially in the offseason, you count on guys to be available,” Gettleman said. “When you get into a situation where you can’t count on a guy, how do you plan? The best ability sometimes is availability. Leonard has been available his whole career. We just think that he has plenty of upside, he’s athletic, he can run.

“The other thing we love about him is he plays strong, he plays as powerful. He’s a really good athlete. He chases the ball all over the place. He’s running. Especially when your linebackers can corral those guys and they make them stop and futz around, and you get these big ol’ hog mollies coming from behind, you’re going to get some balls out. That’s another thing about Leonard that really makes him special.”

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher is excited to have a player of Williams’ caliber in his unit.

“I do believe that this will be a good fit for him,” said Bettcher. “I think that he’s a guy that when you just keep watching more, obviously we watched quite a bit of his tape from the Jets, and I think I said this a couple weeks ago, sometimes there’s more to rushing the passer than just—we all want the sack number, we all want the quarterback hit number, but there’s something to getting a guy off the spot on the inside and making the quarterback lower his vision and have to move left or right. Whether that counts as a pressure or a quarterback hit or not, you see him doing that on tape. I’m excited for him to do that with us, and I think our interior D-linemen are excited to have him with them, too, and those guys have been working well and have been having a lot of great conversations together.”

The Giants expect Williams to pay immediate dividends and are planning to play him quite a bit on Monday nigh against Dallas.