Why The New York Giants’ Defensive Line Is The Strongest Position Group On The Roster

Anthony Rivardo

The New York Giants‘ defense is loaded with young talent. New York has invested a lot of draft capital over the past two years to improve its defense. They have found talent in the secondary and linebacker corps, but they have found more talent on the defensive line than anywhere else. The Giants have quickly turned their defensive line into the team’s strongest unit, thanks to some hefty investments that have loaded their roster with young, talented players.

Hefty Investments

Since 2018, Dave Gettleman has invested 2018 third-round pick, 2018 seventh-round pick, 2019 first-round pick, 2019 seventh-round pick, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick, and $16.1 million franchise tag into the Giants’ defensive line. Additionally, former general manager Jerry Reese spent a second-round pick on the defensive line in 2017. All of these investments have allowed the Giants to build an excellent group of defensive linemen.

Loads Of Youthful Talent

The oldest player in the group is Dalvin Tomlinson, and calling him old is wildly inaccurate. Tomlinson will be only 26 years old when the season starts. The next oldest player is Leonard Williams, who will also be 26 years old when the season starts. Dexter Lawrence is entering his second season at 22 years old. All three of these players are 26 years old or younger and highly efficient at their positions.

Dalvin Tomlinson had a breakout season in 2019. He racked up a career-high 3.5 sacks to go along with 49 combined tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 13 pressures. Dalvin is primarily a run-stuffer but he showed great improvement as a pass-rusher last season.

Leonard Williams arrived and made a significant impact in 2019. Nearly every other player on the defensive line saw their efficiency increase due to Williams absorbing double teams. To read more about the improved play of the Giants’ defensive lineman after Williams arrived, click here.

Dexter Lawrence showed tons of promise as a rookie in 2019. The hog molly out of Clemson totaled 38 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks, and 15 pressures as a rookie. He was even the highest-graded rookie at his position according to Pro Football Focus.

Behind these top-three talents, the Giants have tons of depth on their defensive line. BJ Hill was a solid starter as a rookie in 2018, prior to Leonard Williams’s arrival. RJ McIntosh showed flashes and Chris Slayton was recently elevated off the practice squad. New York has no shortage of defensive line talent heading into the 2020 season.