One underrated New York Giants defender showed up in 2020

New York Giants, Dalvin Tomlinson

The New York Giants and GM Dave Gettleman have prioritized the building of the defensive line in recent years. Yet their run-stopping grades were below-averaging, ranking 20th in the league, even after trading for Leonard Williams. The unit was even worse against the pass, ranking 28th in the NFL.

However, those rankings ignore individual performances and the quality some players brought. One of the more underrated interior defensive linemen was Dalvin Tomlinson, who emerged as a silver lining in the lost season.

PFF stated:

Dalvin Tomlinson is the Giants highest-graded player on defense for 2019 with a 78.1 overall grade. That ranks 11th among all interior DL with at least 500 snaps and makes his 3rd consecutive season grading above 78 overall.

Tomlinson has quietly proved his worth throughout his career, despite not being a great pass rush force — he’s more stout against the run, tallying 49 combined tackles this year. In the 3-4 defense, though, he did manage to improve his numbers rushing the passer, setting career highs in sacks (3.5), and QB Hits (9). Going into the final year of his rookie deal, expect Tomlinson to have an excellent performance and excel in stopping the run. It’s clear that the addition of Williams and Dexter Lawrence improved his efficiency across the board.

The New York Giants have moves to make:

The Giants’ defense could look a bit different in 2020, as they have over $80 million in cap space to spend and are looking to bolster the defense in multiple ways. The draft also offers Gettleman an opportunity to acquire upgrades at the linebacker and edge rusher position, which would benefit Tomlinson.

One free-agent target the Giants could look into is Yannick Ngakoue, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars. His elite numbers rushing the passer make him the best available option this offseason, and it’s fair to assume Gettleman will consider him if they Giants remain steady with the 3-4 scheme.