The New York Giants had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2018. For this reason, the Giants totally revamped their defense in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants’ secondary is completely different from last season.
No particular defensive position group excelled for the Giants in 2018. But their best group in 2018 was certainly the young group of defensive linemen, and that group has improved in 2019.
Why The Giants’ Defensive Linemen Are Excellent
The Giants had three 1st-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Dave Gettleman drafted an interior defensive lineman with his second 1st-round pick, the 17th pick overall. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence out of Clemson was the pick, and he is expected to make a huge impact on the Giants defense in 2019 and beyond.
Dexter Lawrence is the absolute hog-molliest football player on the Giants’ defense. Lawrence weighs in at a whopping 342 pounds, filling out his tall 6 feet 4-inch frame. Dexter was possibly the best run defending nose tackle in the 2018 draft class.
In three years at Clemson, Dexter totaled 131 tackles and 18 tackles for loss. Additionally, Dexter is an underrated pass-rusher. According to Pro Football Focus, Dexter Lawrence racked up 33 total pressures in 2018 (T12th in draft class) and he also had the third-highest pass rush productivity percentage in the draft class, applying pressure on 13.8% of his snaps.
— Giants Fans Online (@NYGFansOnline) April 30, 2019
B.J. Hill is not merely a run stuffer. Hill proved that he is an excellent interior penetrator in 2018. B.J. set a New York Giants franchise record in 2018. His 5.5 sacks were the most ever by a rookie in Giants history since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. The 5.5 sacks were also the fourth most by a rookie this season.
50+ tackles and 5+ sacks put B.J. Hill in elite company. Other notable rookie defensive linemen in NFL history with 50+ tackles and 5+ sacks include J.J. Watt, Ndamukong Suh, Kevin Williams, Justin Smith, Jevon Kearse, Simeon Rice, Charles Haley, and Reggie White.
— Ross O'Keefe (@RossOKeefe2) February 14, 2019
Dalvin Tomlinson has been a quietly efficient defensive lineman for the Giants. He is not a flashy player, but he gets the job done. And he gets his job done better than most seem to realize.
Pro Football Focus listed Dalvin Tomlinson as one of the NFL’s secret defensive superstars. Tomlinson ended his 2018 season on an incredibly efficient tackle streak. He had the longest active streak of tackles without a miss with 60. Dalvin has only missed one tackle in his two-year NFL career.
Dalvin clearly learned a lot from former Giants run-stuffing extraordinaire Damon Harrison. He has turned into one of the NFL’s best run-defenders in only two pro seasons. Tomlinson has racked up 24 defensive stops against the run in two years in the NFL. His continued development will make him one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.
Since transitioning to more of a NT role in Week 8, Dalvin Tomlinson has become one of the best DIs in the NFL. Since the change, he ranks as the 9th best DI with an Overall Grade of 80.5 (min 141 snaps).#GiantsPride pic.twitter.com/ErdvdU5Md2
— Matt Stopsky (@PFF_Stopsky) November 29, 2018