The Giants may have found a defensive line gem in the final round of this year’s draft

New York Giants defensive tackle Jordon Riley (95) participates in drills during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Facility
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants possessed one of the NFL’s worst run-defense units last season. This offseason, general manager Joe Schoen addressed that weakness, bringing in new talents on the defensive line and within the linebacker corps. One acquisition that flew on the radar was the selection of Oregon DL Jordon Riley in the final round of this year’s draft. Through the first two weeks of the preseason, Riley appears to be an uncovered gem on the defensive line.

Jordon Riley has been a dominant force during the preseason

Riley has looked stellar this preseason, grabbing the attention of fans and analysts alike. In the team’s second preseason game against Carolina, Riley totaled three tackles and one tackle for loss; a dominant fourth-down stop in the backfield.

Following his impressive performance in the team’s first preseason game, NFL Analyst Brian Baldinger praised the rookie, describing him as a “good looking prospect.” He followed it up with another standout performance in Week 2.

Through two weeks of the preseason, Riley has totaled four combined tackles, one tackle for loss, and has routinely plugged gaps in the running game to create opportunities for New York’s linebacker corps.

Giants DL coach raves about Riley

One trait that separates Riley from other defensive linemen is his size. Riley is a big, beefy defensive lineman who possesses surprising athleticism, allowing him to get into the backfield quickly as a run-stuffer. Defensive line coach Andre Patterson raved about Riley in the spring:

“He’s got some gifts that you can’t give him as a coach. You know, he’s 6-5, he’s 325 pounds. He is a big, strong man. The gifts he has, a coach can’t give you that.”

Giants defensive line coach Andre Patterson in the spring via The New York Post

Riley is developing at a rapid pace this summer. After being drafted in the seventh round of this year’s draft, expectations for Riley were low. But he has since exceeded all expectations and could soon find himself earning regular-season playing time.

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