New York Giants: B.J. Hill preparing for breakout season in 2019

New York Giants, BJ Hill

After an impressive 2018, New York Giants third-round pick B.J. Hill is looking to take his talents to the next level. Playing on the interior of a defensive front that will feature Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawrence, Hill has the potential to be the best of the three.

Last year, he tallied 5.5 sacks, 48 combined tackles, 8 quarterback hits, and 6 tackles for a loss. Hill was inconsistent at times but flashes serious potential over the course of his rookie season. Surprisingly, B.J. earned the accolade for most sacks by a rookie defensive lineman in Giants history. He was second on the team behind recently traded pass-rusher, Olivier Vernon.

Upon entering the NFL, Hill played in a 4-3 base set for North Carolina State but was moved to the 3-4 when drafted by the Giants. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher utilized him heavily early on in the season in an attempt to provide him with ample experience. That experience will surely translate over to his sophomore season in 2019.

The New York Giants could have a sneaky good defensive front this season:

I anticipate him being not only a force in the run game but in the pass-rush game as well. He has a fantastic motor that seems to always be pushing on the interior. With Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, and Markus Golden featuring as the outside linebackers and quarterbacks hunters, it will give Hill the opportunity to expose the pocket from the interior.

The success of the outside linebackers with ultimately help Hill reach his potential. Quarterbacks moving up in the pocket to avoid pressure is where Hill earns his paycheck, breaking through the trenches and swallowing up passers as they avoid incoming defenders.

General manager Dave Gettleman broke down what he liked about Hill when he was drafted and why he’s going to be a force in the NFL:

“B.J. is a powerful, tough son of a gun and sometimes as a defensive lineman at the college level, you’ll see them in these three-point stances and then you’ll see them in the four-point frog stance, and in the four-point frog stance they’re not going to get any pass rush,” Gettleman stated. “But when his hand is in the dirt in the three-point, he showed the ability to get upfield, flip his hips and track the guy down, so we’re really pretty pleased. Again, both those guys [Dexter Larwence] had second round value for us, so we’re really pleased for that.”

If Hill can reach his potential, he will be one of the more value-centric players on the team coming out of the third round. Gaining a quality starter from the spot in the draft only shows the success Gettleman had in 2018, and the most recent draft doesn’t look much worse. Gaining defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence will aid in the completion of the front three tremendously.

 

The New York Giants Have One Of The Best Young Defensive Fronts In The NFL

New York Giants, Dalvin Tomlinson

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

Dexter Lawrence:

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.

B.J. Hill:

The Giants’ 3rd-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, B.J. Hill, was one of the best players on the Giants’ defense last year. Hill has some serious star potential.

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.

Dalvin Tomlinson:

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.

New York Giants: How The Defense Could Go From Worst To First In The 2019 NFL Draft

The New York Giants could go after Ed Oliver in the 2019 NFL draft.

In 2018, the New York Giants‘ defense was one of the worst in the NFL. They allowed 25.8 points per game which ranked 23rd in the league. They were poor against both the run and the pass. Against the run, the Giants ranked 20th with 118.6 yards per game. And against the pass, the Giants ranked 23rd with 252.8 yards per game.

The Giants’ only two Pro Bowlers on defense from 2018 are no longer with the team. Landon Collins left for Washington in free agency and Olivier Vernon was traded to Cleveland. This left the Giants’ defense filled with holes and lacking any star talent.

Despite this, the Giants still have the opportunity to vastly improve on defense in 2019 through the NFL Draft.

Defensive Options In The Draft

The Giants hold two 1st round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. This opens up plenty of defensive options for the Giants. Luckily for the Giants, the 2019 draft class is absolutely loaded with defensive talent.

With the 6th pick, the Giants have a good chance of drafting an elite defensive prospect. With the 17th pick, the prospect might not be “elite,” but he will be good enough to start and make an immediate impact for Big Blue.

On Monday, the Giants met with two defensive prospects who both have the chance to be drafted by the Giants in the 1st round. The two defensive prospects the Giants met with are Ed Oliver and Clelin Ferrell. Oliver is an option for the Giants with the 6th pick and Ferrell is an option for the Giants with the 17th pick.

Ed Oliver:

Ed Oliver is an interior defensive lineman who has extreme athleticism and the ability to defend the run, as well as rush the passer. Oliver has drawn some comparisons to the NFL’s best player, Aaron Donald. This is because both Donald and Oliver possess rare athleticism for their size and position. Oliver is only 6 feet 2 inches and 287 pounds. This is undersized for his position, but it allows him to be an extraordinary athlete.

At his Pro Day, Oliver ran a speedy 4.71s 40-yard dash. This is certainly comparable to Donald’s 4.68s. Oliver showed off elite quickness, running a quicker short shuttle than Donald with a time of 4.22s. That time is quicker than Saquon Barkley’s!

In his collegiate career at Houston, Ed Oliver was a little bit up and down. Many analysts attribute this to Oliver being used incorrectly in Houston’s new defensive scheme in 2018. Prior to 2018, Oliver was looked at as a lock for the top 3 picks in the draft. His 2017 season was impressive, as he recorded 73 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks. Ed Oliver would instantly make the Giants’ defense better for years to come.

Clelin Ferrell:

Clelin Ferrell is an edge defender out of Clemson’s loaded defense. Ferrell played a big part in Clemson’s 2018 National Championship season. In 2018, Clelin had 55 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and 11.5 sacks. Outstanding production by the junior edge defender.

The Giants have a need at edge since they traded away Olivier Vernon. Ferrell has the ability to rush the passer off tackle, something the Giants need desperately. Ferrell is a strong, bull-rusher who can knock tackles off balance and get in the backfield. Check out Clelin Ferrell powering through top offensive tackle Jonah Williams:

If the Giants could combine Ferrell’s pass-rushing ability off the edge with Oliver’s all-around dominance on the inside, they could create a scary defensive duo for years to come. Adding this pair in a mix that already features Lorenzo Carter, Dalvin Tomlinson, and B.J. Hill gives the Giants potential to have one of the best, young defensive fronts in the NFL.

New York Giants: Quarterbacks To Watch At The Senior Bowl

The New York Giants drafted

We know the Giants love to draft players from the senior bowl. Last year’s Senior Bowl MVP, quarterback Kyle Lauletta, was a 4th round selection for the Giants in 2018. In 2017, Giants’ third round pick Davis Webb was the Senior Bowl MVP. They also picked another Senior Bowl standout in the third round of the 2018 Draft: B.J. Hill.

With a history of drafting players who perform in the Senior Bowl, it would not be a surprise if the Giants look to draft another senior quarterback in 2019.

North Team Quarterbacks:

The two most notable quarterbacks on the Senior Bowl North Team roster are Drew Lock and Daniel Jones. They are both projected to be first or second round selections in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The two other quarterbacks are Ryan Finley and Trace McSorley. Neither of them have received first round buzz recently, but they could be mid-round selections that NFL teams will look to turn into developmental players. It is unlikely that the Giants will spend another mid-round pick on a quarterback in 2019, after taking one in 2018. The quarterbacks to watch out of Mobile in 2019 for the Giants are Lock and Jones.

Drew Lock is a senior out of Missouri. In his official Senior Bowl weigh-in, Lock was measured at 6′ 3″, 223 lbs., with a 33.5″ arm length and 9″ hands. On the first day of Senior Bowl practice, Lock excelled.

According to The Draft Network, he was the best of all the quarterbacks. Drew Lock was a statistically great quarterback in his junior and senior years at Missouri. As a junior, Lock threw 44 touchdown passes to 13 interceptions with 3,964 yards. This is certainly his best statistical season. However, Lock played a cleaner game as a senior. He reduced his interception total to only 8 and still added 28 touchdown passes.

Daniel Jones, the NFL prototype out of Duke, struggled in his first practice of the Senior Bowl. He weighed in at 220 lbs. to go along with his 6′ 5″ frame that scouts love. He also has big hands at 9 3/4″ with long 33 1/4″ arms.

Jones struggled with ball placement and timing even during on-air drills, consistently putting balls behind their receivers or forcing them to slow and wait on vertical patterns. Jones improved a little in the 1-on-1s, dropping in a nice corner route for his best throw of the day.

Daniel receives a lot of first round buzz due in part to his former coach. David Cutcliffe is a great quarterback coach who got multiple players ready for the NFL, including Eli Manning and Peyton Manning. Statistically, Daniel Jones will not blow you away. However, he has the prototypical body type and all the physical tools to succeed at the next level, plus the professional coaching.

Ryan Finley out of NC State used to be projected as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2019 draft class. However, after his senior year, he has slipped in prospect rankings. One red flag with Finley is his age. He is 24 years old. That makes him older than all of the first round quarterbacks in last year’s draft, and a year older than second-year pro Patrick Mahomes. However, Finley showed flashes of great play in college. With a great week at the Senior Bowl, Finley’s stock could rise again.

Trace McSorley is an undersized signal-caller from Penn State. He played in a run-heavy offense with Saquon Barkley in 2017. In 2018, McSorley actually threw even less passes for lower statistics. However, he is a dual-threat quarterback. McSorley ran in 11 touchdowns in 2017 and 12 in 2018. In 2018, he totaled an impressive 798 rushing yards. What scouts have seen from McSorley as a thrower is a small sample size. However, his rushing ability is enough to draw him some interest. Trace could use a big week in Mobile to move up the big boards.

 

New York Giants: Rookie Defensive Lineman Made An Immediate Impact

New York Giants, B.J. Hill

The New York Giants had one of the worst defenses in the league in 2017. That did not change in 2018, as the Giants’ defense in 2018 ranked 23rd in yards allowed per game and 24 in points allowed per game.

Despite the overall poor play by the defense, the Giants did have a couple standout players on the team. Third round rookie B.J. Hill was an impact player in 2018 and has shown promise as a building block for the future.

B.J. Hill Rookie Season Highlights And Statistics

In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Giants selected B.J. Hill out of North Carolina State in the third round. The Giants used the pick they received from the Buccaneers in a trade for Jason Pierre-Paul. Giants fans should be thankful that Gettleman was able to receive a third round pick for JPP. Pierre-Paul is an aging veteran whose production had been falling each season. B.J. Hill is a promising young rookie with high potential.

Hill racked up the tackles this season. From his interior defensive line position, Hill was able to produce 48 combined tackles on the season. He also added 6 tackles for loss.

B.J. Hill plays as an interior defensive lineman, but he is not merely a run stuffer. Hill proved that he is an excellent interior penetrator. 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. The 5.5 sacks were also the fourth most by a rookie this season. This statistic proves B.J. Hill will be a force on the Giants’ defense for years to come.

50+ tackles and 5+ sacks puts 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.

B.J. Hill’s most impressive game came in week 13 against the Chicago Bears. This was Hill’s coming out party. Fans were not completely aware of Hill until this game, as he broke out with a 3 sack performance in the Giants’ overtime victory. He also added multiple pressures and two tackles for loss. Hill was especially disruptive against Chicago and helped the Giants come away with a big win.

The New York Giants were lucky to find B.J. Hill in the third round of the 2018 Draft. The Giants will need to build around Hill and continue to add pieces around him to improve the defense in 2019.

B.J. Hill Could Be The Biggest Steal Of The Draft For The Giants

While running back Saquon Barkley headlined the 2018 NFL Draft for the New York Giants, one under-the-radar player may be one of the biggest steals of the draft. Former North Carolina State defensive tackle, B.J. Hill, was drafted in the third-round by the Giants.

While Hill was overshadowed by Bradley Chubb in the draft, he made his mark in college – racking up 55 total tackles in 2017. The 6-foot-3, 311-pound rookie played well in minicamp and OTAs, practicing with the first team alongside Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson.

“Stopping the run, getting to the quarterback, I feel like I can do it all,” Hill said Thursday as the Giants wrapped up minicamp. “Just out here practicing, you can see me moving around a lot. They got me playing D-end for a reason. They see I can move around and take on double teams.”

Hill will likely be expected to play as a three down back in the 3-4 defense, which is DC James Bettcher’s scheme that he brought over from the Arizona Cardinals.

The most enticing aspect about Hill:

While the NC State product played defensive tackle primarily in college, he has the ability to play defense end as well. His versatility allows the Giants to mix and match up front, keeping the offense on their heels. Hill is extremely quick off the line of scrimmage, which is essential for an edge rusher. For his overall size, his athleticism is above average, making him a dual threat.

The primary issue with Hill is his strength on initial contact. He doesn’t have the desired anchor in run support and can be pushed back at times. At the NFL level he will increase his strength and size which should help in eradicating that issue, but it will be something to keep an eye on.