The New York Giants could build a monster defensive line with new addition

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants trading for Jets interior defensive lineman Leonard Williams took everyone by surprise on Monday afternoon. Considering Williams’ inefficient season, general manager Dave Gettleman is one of the league’s top lineman evaluators, which makes this deal a bit more optimistic than most.

Williams has 17 total seasons over four seasons and zero this campaign, but he’s a strong interior presence who can pair up perfectly alongside rookie, Dexter Lawrence.

The former Jet has been extremely productive in some categories, though, despite his low sacks totals. Since 2016, 38.7% of Williams’ run tackles have gone for a loss or no gain, which ranks second behind only Aaron Donald. His power and strength next to Lawrence will give the Giants a monster presence in the trenches and allow them to push the pile with force.

Add in B.J. Hill and the Giants are quietly building one of the stronger defensive lines in the league, given Williams can elevate his game with Big Blue. Staying in New York makes his life a bit easier, as the transition isn’t as tedious, but learning a new scheme will take time.

What did the New York Giants give up for Leonard Williams?

Big Blue unloaded a third-round pick and a fifth-rounder that can turn into a fourth if the Giants re-sign him before the new league year. However, they can recoup the third-rounder as a compensatory pick if they let Williams walk in the free agency.

Reports have stated that the Giants could give the lineman upwards of $10 million in free agency, which might be a decent deal considering his lack of production. Higher priced free agent pass rushers might garner upwards of $15 million, and if the Giants see his production increase in the second half of the year in a new scheme, we can expect him to stick around for the foreseeable future.

Realistically, the Giants traded away a fifth-round pick for a rental, but one that could prove to be a long-term option in the trenches. Dexter Lawrence, who ranks fifth in the NFL in pass-rush win-rate (9.9%), will benefit from this trade.

New York Giants: Just how good has Dexter Lawrence been in his rookie season?

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants didn’t expect 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Dexter Lawrence, to emerge into one of the league’s top interior lineman in his rookie season. Maybe the Giants brass did, but the perplexed look on the faces of fans didn’t exactly indicate, “happiness.”

Interior defenders aren’t “sexy” picks, but “Sexy Dexy” is rounding himself into a force on the defense and one of the best at his position. In a 3-4 defense run by James Bettcher, the Giants expect their interior defenders to rush the passer as well. Lawrence has been stellar in nearly every category. Earning 17 combined tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss and three QB hits, the Clemson product has contributed in many different ways.

The New York Giants have another challenge ahead:

His next challenge will be to stop speedster Kyler Murray, quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. The No. 1 overall pick from the draft is far smaller than the average passer, making him more elusive and quick. Lawrence believes, though, that he can still catch the little guy.

“In my mind, I could chase anybody,” Lawrence told The Post. “Just let my play do the talking, and if I catch you, I catch you. If I don’t, I’m gonna get you next time.”

At 6-foot-5, 342 pounds, “Big Dex” is equivalent to a meteor plummeting through the Earth’s atmosphere. It takes at least two offensive linemen to slow him down, and that’s usually not even enough.

When it comes to being proactive and a quality football player, Lawrence seems to have figured it out:

“I just try to force myself not to be one of those just big, lazy guys,” Big Dex said. “You can’t coach effort, you can’t coach like athletic ability. If you got it, you got it. So I just take advantage of everything God has blessed me with and use it to the fullest.”

Dexter’s primary job is to plug the A-gaps and keep the opposing running game to a minimum. The forces running backs to bounce the ball outside, and since Lawrence’s counterpart B.J. Hill is also having a solid season, their run-stop grade lands them at No. 9 in the NFL.

Despite the New York Giants’ secondary being a mess and the linebacker corps thin, the men in the trenches have been impressive. General manager Dave Gettleman has done a fantastic job piecing together this unit through the draft.

New York Giants could look to trade Janoris Jenkins at the trade deadline

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

As the October 29 deadline closes in for the New York Giants, they could look to make several deals that would provide them value for the next NFL draft.

Adding draft assets is precisely what they need going into the third year of a rebuild and several weak spots existing on the defensive side of the ball. One option the Giants could look to utilize is starting cornerback, Janoris Jenkins.

Jenkins is a quality player that has been inconsistent with the Giants through the ups and downs. He tends to play far better when the team is winning, and confidence is high, which is only natural. However, he falters when the unit is struggling and lacks effort at times.

Realistically, letting Janoris Jenkins go would hurt the defense and the secondary significantly. His influence as the number one corner helps give the unit a bit more legitimacy and support. Without him, DeAndre Baker would likely slide into the number one corner spot, and Corey Ballentine will be forced into a starting role.

What could the New York Giants get in a trade involving Janoris Jenkins?

Targeting contending teams in a potential trade would be the priority. Teams like the New Orleans Saints, or Kansas City Chiefs would make sense in a deal. The most value the Giants could hope to get from Jenkins would be a third-round pick, which can ultimately turn into high value.

This past draft, the Giants selected Oshane Ximines in the third round, who has already racked up two sacks and 15 combined tackles this season.

Last year, general manager Dave Gettleman selected both Lorenzo Carter and B.J. Hill in the draft — both players start on the defense currently. Last week, Carter had a stellar game, enjoying one forced fumble and one sack against a harsh New England Patriots team. Both Hill and Carter seem to be developing into quality players, and they were both selected in the third round. If the Giants could get a similar pick in exchange for Jenkins, that might not be a terrible deal.

New York Giants: The key to beating the Buffalo Bills in week 2

New York Giants, Dalvin Tomlinson

The New York Giants will face off against the Buffalo Bills in a week two match up that is a must-win game. After a severe loss against division rivals the Dallas Cowboys, Big Blue is in a position of adversity.

After allowing over 500 yards of offense, the Giants’ defense will look to bounce back in week two with better coverage in the secondary and a more efficient pass-rush. Meeting the Bills will be difficult, though, considering they have one of the league’s more tantalizing mobile quarterbacks in Josh Allen. Last week against the New York Jets, he did turn the ball over four times. However, he rushed for 38 yards on ten carries and a touchdown. He also threw for 254 yards and a touchdown.

In favor of the Giants, the Bills don’t have any electrifying pass catchers. They featured John Brown, Cole Beasley, Tommy Sweeney, and Devin Singletary, their young running back.

Despite having lackluster pass options, the Bills have one primary strength, and the Giants must stop him at all costs.

New York Giants: the key to beating the Buffalo Bills

Again, the key to victory in week two will be the Giants pass rush. The Giants had a total of five tackles on their defensive front, putting out a fat zero in the sack column. After claiming former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker to Tuzar Skipper this week, the team will receive an extra boost from a player that is highly touted. However, relying on him to pick up the slack from last weeks, performance is hugely optimistic.

Rookie interior defender Dexter Lawrence will be the catalyst once again in pushing the pile forward. His massive frame often draws double teams, which should give B.J. Hil and Dalvin Tomlinson extra room to work with. Also, pass rushers Oshane Ximines and Markus Golden must have better performances in week two. Golden, who played a significant portion of the game, finished with just one assist and zero tackles. Both Lawrence and Golden finished as the bottom two producers on the defensive side of the ball, something that cannot be repeated if the Giants wish to earn a win this week.

The ultimate key will be putting pressure on Allen, who will make mistakes consistently if startled. Containing him in the pocket and utilizing unique blitz packages is what defensive coordinator James Bettcher will look to do.

New York Giants: Why we should have faith in GM Dave Gettleman

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants elected to hire general manager Dave Gettleman one year ago after the reign of Jerry Reese came to an end.

Two Super Bowl’s later and a flurry of terrible drafts, the Giants decided it was time to move on towards bigger and better things. However, most were concerned about Gettleman and his past relationships with players. He is all business and no sympathy, but he has done a fantastic job piecing together a Giants team that has been lost for a decade.

Second drafts a charm for the New York Giants:

Drafting running back Saquon Barkley might have been the easiest decision in Dave’s career, and we shouldn’t give him the credit for selecting a player that was guaranteed to be a perennial Pro Bowler. Where Gettleman success comes into play is in the later rounds of the draft. Between rounds, 3-7 is where the new general manager has really shined.

Last season, the Giants drafted Lorenzo Carter and BJ Hill in the third round. Both will be starters in 2019. In the fifth round, they selected RJ McIntosh who will be a rotational player after dealing with a thyroid issue in 2018 that kept him out the entire season.

In the most recent draft, Gettleman selected DE Oshane Ximines in the third round, CB Julian Love in the fourth round, LB Ryan Connelly/WR Darius Slayton in the fifth round, and CB Corey Ballentine in the sixth round. In the seventh round, he selected OT George Asiago-Adjei, and DL Chris Slayton, defense of lineman from Syracuse.

Out of his seven picks between rounds 3-7, he has five potential starting players. The two outliers being the seventh-round picks who haven’t shown much this off-season so far. However, Love is competing for the slot corner position and Ximines will be a featured player on the defensive front.

Ryan Connelly has already been earning first-team reps over veteran BJ Goodson and Darius Slayton has been slotted in with the first team on numerous occasions. Corey Ballentine, division II cornerback, has looked fantastic at times, even recording an interception and two assisted tackles in the victory over the Jets in the first preseason game.

All in all, the Giants could have seven new starters by the end of the 2019 season who have less than two years of experience. Those are only players from rounds 3-7, which shows the quality of depth Dave Gettleman is building and how well he is drafting.

One other essential point I would like to make is that Dave does not hold on to his own pride. When it comes to free-agent signing’s, he has no problem releasing a player that simply isn’t panning out, which is something Jerry Reese failed to do over the years. Take Patrick Omameh for example, who signed a three-year, $15 million deal and was cut by week five last season.

The no-nonsense approach Gettleman and the Giants have adopted needed to be prioritized after Reese was fired. There were too many distractions and far too many wasted draft picks to anticipate success for the future. Gettleman has done a fantastic job piecing the team together thus far and we are already seeing the benefits of his decisions.

 

New York Giants: Training Camp and 2019 Season Thoughts

The start of the New York Giants training camp is a time when most fans find a reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season for the football team they dedicate 17+ weeks to. It’s also necessary to pause and provide some introspection on the team and address some of the mainstream storylines that have circulated across the Giants message boards and Twitter.  Below are my thoughts at we conclude the first two weeks of training camp. 

  • The Giants desperately need Lorenzo Carter to take a major leap. The Giants linebacking unit may be the worst in the league. Carter was their best cover linebacker last year and is the only player I trust to not be a liability on third down. It wouldn’t surprise me if B.J. Goodson and Alec Ogletree’s playing time was reduced in passing situations, both struggled in coverage last season. Carter might even be more valuable to the Giants playing out in space as he is rushing the passer.
  • The defense will likely stink again this season. The Giants had the 24th ranked defense by DVOA last year and is unlikely to improve this year. The Giants don’t have anyone on the roster that proved they could consistently rush the passer last season, their linebackers will struggle to defend the run and the pass and they don’t have any corners that played well in coverage last year. Furthermore, the Giants will be relying on a lot of young players (B.J. Hill, Carter, Dexter Lawrence, Sam Beal, DeAndre Baker, Grant Haley, Julian Love, and Oshane Ximines) to play well this year. It’s unrealistic to think that most of these young players can be impactful on a consistent basis.
  • Evan Engram is an upgrade over Golden Tate. The loss of Golden Tate will hurt the Giants, but not as much as people may think. Evan Engram will get more targets in Tate’s absence, and at this point of their careers, Engram is a more explosive receiver than Tate. Engram needs to improve his route running and struggles to shake from coverage, but Shurmur finally figured out how to use Engram in the second half of the season. Get him in space and let him run. I expect the Giants to use him more to stretch the field than they have in the past. 
  • The offense will not be better without Odell Beckham Jr. this year. For the first time since 2010, the Giants should have an above-average pass-blocking offensive line. However, don’t expect the Giants offense to be better than last year when they ranked 13th by DVOA. It’s too simple to look at the last four games of the season, wipe out the Titans game and come to the conclusion the Giants offense can thrive without Beckham. It can’t. Without Beckham, defenses can focus on containing Barkley and will have confidence their secondary can hold up against the Giants receivers. Shurmer will have to be extra creative with his scheme and play calling to help the Giants receiver get open against man coverage.
  • Daniel Jones needs first-team reps. The Giants can help Jones grow without sacrificing victories this season. He needs to be given first-team reps in training camp and the preseason. Eli Manning does not require 100% of the reps with the starters to get himself ready for the season. Giving Jones a portion of those reps will help Eli rest his arm while giving Jones valuable experience playing behind the first-string offensive line. The Giants will learn very little about the potential of their first-round pick if he’s spending camp and preseason running for his life. 

 

New York Giants could have one of the best young defensive fronts

New York Giants, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill

The New York Giants released their first unofficial depth chart of the offseason on Tuesday before Thursday’s preseason matchup against the Jets.

The team is filled with talented youth, and while they might struggle in 2019, there’s hope for the future. The defensive line is one of the more exciting position groups on the team, as Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill and Dexter Lawrence man the trenches.

Tomlinson is the veteran of the group going into his third season. He’s expected to finally reach his potential and perform at a high level against the run. He’s not the purest pass-rusher — Lawrence seems to have him beat in that category, but he offers excellent value in other facets.

Hill, who displayed flashes of dominance in his rookie season, is primed for a breakout year after recording 48 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits in 2018. There’s a reason to believe that the front three of a James Bettcher 3-4 defense will be one of the more exciting, up-and-coming units in the league.

New York Giants: Tomlinson believes Hill is on the right track towards success:

“You can just tell B.J. is more comfortable this year just running different games and just playing beside him in the run game. He’s more patient with things, like playing run blocks and things like that. B.J. is playing pretty well this year, too,” Tomlinson told reporters on Monday.

Dexter Lawrence, a 6-foot-4, 345-pound behemoth of a man, is also carrying the weight of success on his shoulders. Dalvin also raved about his insane athleticism for his size.

“It’s super unique, just to be that big and that athletic is amazing to see when you’re playing right beside him,” Tomlinson said of Lawrence. “I’ve never seen anybody near as big move that well.”

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Something the defense seems to have this season is brotherhood and chemistry. With so much youth and inexperience tainting the group, it’s only fair to expect hurdles, but they have come together to tackle them as a collective unit and develop a new atmosphere.

“The brotherhood and camaraderie of the defense we have right now is just crazy. The unity and the energy we bring to the field and coming out of the locker room each and every day,” Tomlinson said.

 

New York Giants: B.J. Hill Has Potential To Be An Elite Defender In His Second Season

New York Giants, BJ Hill

The New York Giants sneakily had one of the best draft classes in the NFL last season. They drafted the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in Saquon Barkley in the 1st-round. Big Blue then went on to draft starters in each of the next three rounds.

The Giants selected Will Hernandez in the 2nd-round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Hernandez stepped in as a talented starter immediately. New York then drafted to defenders in the 3rd-round.

The Giants’ first pick in the 3rd-round of the 2018 NFL Draft was Lorenzo Carter. He was a raw prospect who flashed tons of potential as a rookie but will need to make a leap in 2019 as a starter.

Unlike Carter, the Giants’ second pick in the 3rd-round (B.J. Hill) has already proven himself to be a solid defender. If Hill can build on his rookie season in 2019, he could prove to be an elite defender in his second season.

B.J. Hill Stats And Highlights

B.J. Hill was quietly one of the best rookie defensive linemen in the NFL in 2018. He was a disruptive pass-rusher from the interior, as well as a solid run-defender.

According to Pro Football Focus, B.J. Hill posted an above-average grade of 69.7 last season. This is especially impressive when considering Hill was only a rookie in 2018.

Hill was third in the NFC in run stops with 22. This puts Hill in elite company, considering the star defensive linemen in this division (such as Fletcher Cox, Tyrone Crawford). The Giants’ very own Dalvin Tomlinson lead the division with 26 stops. Hill and Tomlinson combined to create a fearsome duo in 2018.

Tomlinson was the Giants’ best run defender in 2018, but Hill was the defensive line’s best pass-rusher. In fact, B.J. Hill was one of the best rookie pass-rushers in Giants history. B.J. Hill 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.

B.J. Hill tallied 27 pressures as a rookie according to PFF. He also had 8 quarterback hits to go along with his 27 pressures and 5.5 sacks. Hill even totaled 6 tackles for loss and 48 combined tackles.

As B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson continue to progress, the Giants’ defensive line will progress into one of the league’es best. The Giants threw Dexter Lawrence into the mix this offseason, giving the Gmen a beastly defensive front. The New York Giants now have one of the best young defensive fronts in the NFL.

New York Giants: Dexter Lawrence Will Be Dominant Instantly

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants drafted interior defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. This pick was acquired via trade and it was the Giants’ second pick in the 1st-round. Dexter was the Giants’ first defensive player drafted in 2019, but he was not the last.

Dexter Lawrence will be thrown into the starting mix immediately. He will join the Giants’ young and underrated defensive front that features rising star B.J. Hill and unsung hero Dalvin Tomlinson. The addition of Dexter Lawrence could make this one of the best young defensive fronts in the NFL.

Dominant In Run Defense

Weighing in at a whopping 342 pounds, Dexter Lawrence is the hog-molliest of the hog mollies. He is an absolute brick wall that will swallow running backs whole in the middle of the Giants’ defensive line.

Dexter Lawrence recorded 36 total tackles in 2018 with 7 tackles for loss. Pro Football Focus gave Dexter Lawrence an 87.7 run-defense grade in 2018. He had 25 total defensive stops in 2018 as well.

Lawrence also exhibited elite strength at the 2019 NFL Combine. His 36 bench reps were the most of any defender in the entire draft class. Dexter will be able to use his superior strength to plug holes and push offensive linemen into the backfield to disrupt plays.

Underrated Pass Rusher

Many critics have already written Dexter Lawrence off as a pass-rusher. He has been toted as a two-down rotational run-stuffing nose tackle. However, this is just not true.

Dexter Lawrence is a criminally underrated pass-rusher. This interior defensive lineman was well-adept at getting to the quarterback during his time at Clemson.

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.

Lawrence was phenomenal as a true freshman. He racked up 48 total pressures during that 2016 season. This season demonstrated Dexter’s true potential as a pass-rusher. He is a little heavy, but if he can drop some pounds (which he admitted he needs to), Dexter Lawrence can be a truly exceptional pass-rusher.

New York Giants: Dalvin Tomlinson Is An Unsung Hero On Defense

New York Giants, Dalvin Tomlinson

The New York Giants have a young defense with lots of unproven talent. New York invested heavily in their secondary this offseason, drafting three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if you count Sam Beal). They also traded for the young, multi-skilled safety Jabrill Peppers.

One area of the Giants defense is not as unproven as the secondary. The defensive interior is arguably one of the best young units in the NFL. The Giants have a lot of talent on their defensive line.

B.J. Hill proved himself in his rookie season. Rookie defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence is almost a can’t-miss prospect, as he is destined to be an excellent run defender at the very least, but he will need to prove he can rush the passer as well in the NFL. No one on this defensive line has proven himself quite like Dalvin Tomlinson.

Dalvin Tomlinson Stats And Highlights:

The Giants drafted Dalvin Tomlinson in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Ever since then, he has been a solid, consistent player on the Giants’ defensive line.

Tomlinson has finished with 50 or more tackles in each of his first two seasons. In 2017, Dalvin totaled 50 tackles, and in 2018 he totaled 59. He improved his tackles for loss total to 5 in 2018 after posting only 1 in 2017. Dalvin Tomlinson is not a flashy player, but he gets the job done.

Tomlinson not only gets the job done, but he gets it done at an incredibly consistent level. In 2018, Dalvin Tomlinson had the longest active streak of tackles without a miss with 60. Dalvin has only missed one tackle in his two-year NFL career. This is an extremely advanced level of consistency for a player entering only his third NFL season.

The Giants traded away Damon Harrison Sr. during the 2018 NFL season. Harrison is arguably the best run-defending nose tackle in the NFL. Many assumed the Giants would severely miss Damon’s impact, but Dalvin Tomlinson made sure that was not the case.

Tomlinson ranked as the 9th best interior defensive lineman in the league according to Pro Football Focus after switching positions to nose tackle midseason. The position change was because of the Damon Harrison trade. Dalvin Tomlinson filled the hole left in the middle extremely well, posting an 83.1 overall PFF grade.

Dalvin has racked up 24 defensive stops against the run in two years in the NFL. He is proving to be a true brick wall in the middle of Big Blue’s defensive line. He has been a great run defender his during his first two seasons in the NFL. There is no reason to believe that will change.

Dalvin Tomlinson will continue to develop and will continue to be one of the best young defensive linemen in the NFL. He might not be flashy enough to receive extra media attention, but he gets the job done consistently. Opposing offenses will have to gameplan around Tomlinson due to his ability to stuff the run.