New York Giants: Why B.J. Hill will be an asset during the 2020 season

New York Giants, BJ Hill

The New York Giants have made several interesting moves over the past two years, and one of them was benching BJ Hill after a solid rookie season. In 2018, Hill played in 16 games and started 12, posting 48 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, and 8 quarterback hits. He played in 59% of defensive snaps, but saw a decrease to 44% in 2019.

When general manager Dave Gettleman traded for Leonard Williams, it affected Hill the most. He also brought in Dexter Lawrence out of Clemson last year in the NFL draft. This forced Hill into a rotational role which decreased his active playing time by 15%. The question is, can he return to form and earn more live reps?

At 6-foot-3 and 311 pounds, the 25-year-old is going into the third year of his rookie contract. After logging eight sacks over 48 games for N.C. State in college, he earned 5.5 as a rookie, blowing expectations out of the water.

The New York Giants should keep B.J. Hill involved:

Overcoming Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, or Lawrence will be extremely difficult for Hill. I expect him to remain in a rotational role but offer solid talent if an injury arises or he is asked to fill a specific role. Over the first five games of the 2019 season, he played a minimum of 38 snaps, which dipped to 30 snaps in the final 10 games, when Leonard Williams was traded for in week seven.

The potential Hill flashed in his rookie campaign cannot be overlooked, but Gettleman did state you can’t have too many great players at one position. They are relying heavily on the interior defensive line to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks and produce a pass rush. The lack of monetary allocation toward the outside linebacker unit suggests that they will be scheming a pass rush with linebackers and safeties involved. However, players like Williams, Lawrence, and Tomlinson will be heavily expected to win individual battles in the trenches.

The three big bodies they have on defense draws double teams frequently, which opens up solo battles for players like Oshane Ximines, Lorenzo Carter, Kyler Fackrell, and Markus Golden. Hill has the ability to generate pass rush production from the interior, and in a 3-4 base defense, he can excel moving forward. He is the next man up if an injury occurs, which attests to the Giants’ attempt to bolster the depth on the team.

New York Giants news, 11/21 – BJ Hill, Lorenzo Carter in danger of being left behind

New York Giants, Lorenzo Carter

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

With the New York Giants going into week 12 at 2-8 on the season, we can only anticipate a top-5 draft pick in 2020. The most probable scenario has general manager Dave Gettleman drafting a top pass-rusher, especially if Chase Young is on the board.

This season, though, Gettleman traded for Leonard Williams, previously a defensive lineman on the Jets. Ever since this deal, 2018 third-round pick, BJ Hill, has fallen off in regards to snap-count and overall efficiency. In his rookie campaign, Hill produced 5.5 sacks, 48 combined tackles, and eight QB hits.

This season, he has zero sacks, zero QB hits, and 26 combined tackles through 10 games (started only five). His production and efficiency have fallen off significantly, making him a potential trade option this offseason. He proved last season that he could be a forceful interior defensive lineman, but his sophomore season has been disappointing.

Alternatively, the New York Giants could utilize him as a rotational option, which is likely the course they will take. Similar to Hill, second-year pass-rusher, Lorenzo Carter, has failed to make the jump to the next level.

Comparing Carter’s stats to last season, his defensive snaps have seen an uptick from 441 to 459, but his tackles have fallen off (43 tackles, 4 sacks, 7 TFL in 2018 to 33 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 TFL in 2019.

While the Giants’ offense has been mediocre in nearly every category, Carter playing at a higher level would have helped the team significantly. There’s no question they will keep him around moving forward, but he’s quickly finding himself in a rotational role that will see his playing time drop off.

If the New York Giants draft or sign a big-name pass-rusher, Carter will fall into the depths of the roster where he will be fighting for snaps on defense.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Jordan Raanan – Subtle changes on way for Giants in final six games

Alexander Wilson – Should the New York Giants extend pass-rusher Markus Golden?

Paul Schwartz – Giants needed Lorenzo Carter’s ‘big jump’ badly — and it just hasn’t come

Matt Lombardo – Silence greets Giants as players tasked with ‘creating own energy’ at practice: Here’s why Pat Shurmur made the change

John Fennelly – Giants vs. Bears: 6 things to know about Week 12

New York Giants: Evaluating the Talent on Defense

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

Going into the 2019 season the New York Giants coaching staff knew the defense would be flawed. The team has young players on the field with three rookies starting on defense.

What they didn’t know is the team would look almost entirely lost on defense, allowing 9 touchdowns through three weeks of the season. Overall they’ve given up 94 points which is tied for 2nd worst in the league, only ahead of the tanking Miami Dolphins.

The team looks like they’ve taken a step back on the defensive side of the ball compared to the 2018 season when James Bettcher first arrived.

Each layer of the defense has deficiencies. The defensive line hasn’t been physically overbearing for offensive lines. Linebackers can’t cover and don’t seem to know who to cover, to begin with. The secondary not only has a hard time in coverage but looks like a confused unit with poor tackling mechanics. The Giants have an overall bad defense through three weeks.

That’s not to say things can’t get better but it’s a good time to evaluate the talent on the defensive side of the ball:

Dalvin Tomlinson

The young defensive lineman is the longest-tenured player of this unit. He was a 2nd round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. As a prospect, he was known for being technically sound. He also gave teams a headache when they tried to run the ball against Alabama. He didn’t exactly fill the void Jonathan Hankins left behind but still played well for a rookie.

In the 2018 season, he improved in certain areas. He went from 50 combined tackles as a rookie to 59 in his 2nd year. He also had 4 more tackles for a loss in his 2nd year. He’s not an elite run-stuffer but he’s a solid contributor. His lone sack should tell you he’s here to help win on 1st and 2nd down.

One of the positives with Dalvin is he hasn’t missed a game since entering the league. This is Dalvin’s 3rd season so if his price tag is a little high they can at least wait until the 2021 offseason to worry about replacing him. For now, he’s one of the team’s few significant assets on defense.

BJ Hill

BJ Hill was one of Dave Gettleman’s first draft picks as GM of the New York Giants. Hill was selected in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft, still just 24 years old. The defensive lineman was a late-riser in the draft process as teams fell in love with his speed and athleticism at 311 pounds.

In James Bettcher’s scheme, he lines up as a 3 and 5 technique defensive end. As a rookie, he collected 5.5 sacks with 8 quarterback hits overall. He also had 48 total tackles, proving to be stout against the run as well.

His start to the 2019 season has been slow with 0 pressures through two games and 0 sacks through three games, but his rookie season should keep everyone optimistic. He might not be a totally proven commodity yet but ultimately he is an adequate starting option for most teams. He looks to be a core piece with 3 more years under contract, even if he doesn’t turn out to be special.

Dexter Lawrence

Many expected Snacks 2.0 when they heard Dexter Lawrence’s name called 17th overall during the 2019 NFL Draft. Not only is Dexter much different from Snacks but he also doesn’t primarily line up as a nose tackle as Snacks did. Lawrence is versatile with the quickness that  300 lb men don’t possess, let alone players in the mid 330’s. He’s got plenty of nastiness in the trenches at that size and has drawn plenty of double-team blocks through 2 games as a rookie.

He was considered a slam dunk pick by many scouts with the only concerns regarding positional value. Whether he becomes a savvy pass rusher or not, he’s already made it apparent he can collapse the pocket with offensive guards being along for the ride. That in itself will help spark some pass rush.

He’s also expected to be a great run defender with the size he brings. The team might’ve expected him to be more disruptive earlier on but there’s a lot of legitimate optimism regarding his talent. Having another 4 seasons of his services after this year will be vital to this team’s success on defense.

Olsen Pierre

Many didn’t know who Olsen Pierre was when the team signed him during the offseason. He was a familiar face for James Bettcher who coached him in Arizona during the 2017 season. It’s easy to see why Bettcher didn’t forget him.

Pierre had 5.5 sacks in his defense as a rookie with 9 total quarterback hits. He also had 30 tackles that season, showing some disruptiveness in both phases of defense. Unfortunately, he was injured in 2018, only starting 1 game with little production.

While Bettcher is under some scrutiny for leaning on familiar players too often Pierre might be a gem if he can stay healthy. He’s already earned 1 sack this year coming against the Buffalo Bills. For now, Olsen Pierre is an adequate rotational piece for the defensive line but is not under contract after 2019.

RJ McIntosh

One of the more unfortunate draft prospects last year, RJ McIntosh fell to the 5th round of the 2018 NFL Draft due to a thyroid issue. His talent alone could’ve put him in the 3rd round but teams were concerned with his ability to maintain his weight. Luckily for Dave Gettleman, a roll of the dice paid off and McIntosh is in football shape again.

He played sparingly in 2018 but already has 3 tackles this year as a rotational piece. Expected to be a pass rusher, his quickness is noticeable and really stood out in the preseason games.

Maybe McIntosh’s bump in the road will stop him from reaching his full potential but most teams would be comfortable with him as a rotational defensive lineman. With 2 more seasons on his rookie contract, he’s a significant piece moving forward even if he’s mostly depth.

Lorenzo Carter

Evaluating the defensive line was surprisingly pleasant considering the 0-2 start. That’s because it’s mostly the linebackers and secondary who have struggled heavily so far. Lorenzo Carter might’ve gotten a sack last week but his pressure-rate isn’t anywhere near adequate.

When practice opened he was on fire but went back to getting stone-walled by offensive tackles once pads came on. During his time as a Georgia BullDog, he was up and down with sack production as an unrefined athlete. He didn’t learn the nuances of pass-rushing in his 4 years of college and still hasn’t in the NFL. The worst-case scenario for Lorenzo Carter is being a pass-rushing specialist or a possible change in his role.

Lorenzo is the team’s best coverage linebacker even though his the main job is to get after the quarterback. There’s some risk that comes with Carter but he did collect 4 sacks as a rookie. Even with slight improvement, Carter could enter the 6 sack range on an annual basis. If not, the team has another potential avenue with him as an off-ball linebacker. Carter is far from proven and still needs to show more before he can be considered a significant asset. If he doesn’t improve greatly in 2019 he shouldn’t be considered anything more than a reserve pass rusher.

Markus Golden

One of James Bettcher’s guys, Golden was signed during the offseason as a potential solution for the pass rush. He had one really good reason where he racked up 12.5 sacks with Bettcher in Arizona. As a 2nd round pick this upside was always there.

Unfortunately, Golden tore his ACL in 2017 and spent the 2018 season getting reacclimated to the game. He’s been healthy for a while now but has struggled to make much of an impact.

Golden was a band-aid type of signing, only coming to New York on a one-year deal. Being 28 years old, Golden isn’t any sort of long-term answer and hasn’t lived up to the hype, to begin withop, For now, the team can only hope he taps into the potential he had before getting injured. Lorenzo Carter and Markus Golden make for an underwhelming duo at outside linebacker.

Oshane Ximines

The final piece to the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, Oshane Ximines was drafted by the New York Giants with the 3rd round pick they received from Cleveland. Ximines was one of the more dominant pass rushers in college but the problem was he played schools lacking world-class talent.

Oshane was the first player to be drafted out of his former college, Old Dominion. So far, he looks like he’s a bit shocked by the physicality of offensive lineman in the NFL but has the technique to potentially overcome that aspect of the game. He’s only in the mid 250’s so winning with speed and technique will be crucial for the rookie’s career.

No one knows yet whether he’s a significant asset moving forward but there’s a combination of upside at a position of need for this team. X-Man has already recorded a sack (against Tampa Bay) this season. That makes him a hold going into 2020 regardless of what the team gets out of him in 2019. Even then, expecting anything more than a reserve pass rusher is asking for too much at this time.

Tuzar Skipper

When everyone read the news of the New York Giants claiming Tuzar Skipper off the Steelers Practice Squad, most people said “who?” Skipper was a somewhat obscure draft prospect for the average fan. He wasn’t selected in the draft but was quickly signed by the Steelers.

There was some buzz about Skipper making the 53-man roster in Pittsburgh but he said he got caught up in “the numbers game”, a situation where teams are forced to part with value due to needs elsewhere on the roster. The 6’3” 247 lb edge rusher racked up 5 sacks in the preseason, flashing the upside scouts were looking for. Obviously as an undrafted free agent, carving out a consistent role on any team is an uphill battle. Even as a guy with some upside, high expectations for Skipper aren’t reasonable.

We would all love a feel-good story but it’s unlikely with UDFA pass rushers. If he sticks around for the 2020 season its most likely a result of Skipper becoming a special teams ace. Skipper will most likely never make much of an impact on a defense in the NFL.

David Mayo

There are a few players on every team who are there for the sole purpose of special teams play. With just 61 total tackles in 4 seasons, Mayo is one of those players. Originally drafted in the 5th round, many analysts projected him as a reserve linebacker/special teams asset. He’s turned out to be exactly that.

Mayo is a solid tackler and runs an impressive 40-yard dash in the 4.7’s. It was most likely his impressive speed that made him more appealing to the Giants than BJ Goodson. He will be a fixture on punt and kickoff coverage but the team is in trouble if he takes defensive snaps. Mayo isn’t a significant asset to the team but could possibly be back for a special teams role in 2020.

Alec Ogletree

Many fans were excited when Dave Gettleman traded a 4th and 7th round pick for Alex Ogletree in 2018. This trade being a let-down is an understatement. Outside of some splash plays, Ogletree has struggled against both rushing and passing offenses.

The team pays him like he’s a top asset at the inside linebacker position, making over $8M per season, but he’s not in that class. There are teams in the league where Ogletree would be nothing more than depth but the New York Giants lack adequate talent at this position. Given the crisis at this position, Ogletree could be back in 2020. This is possible out of pure desperation since he’s not an adequate option on the field.

Ryan Connelly

The inside linebacker with the most optimism surrounding him on this team is Ryan Connelly. To make this even better, he will be with the team for 3 more seasons after 2019. Already being a starter in the lineup may speak to the talent-level of the unit more so than Connelly’s performance level. Even then it’s nice to see him beat out older players on the team.

Connelly was known to be a thumper in college, someone who had the instincts to sniff out run plays with the physicality to finish the job. While Connelly had the tools to translate into a decent run defender in the NFL he was atrocious in coverage at the college level. He gave up a 70% completion rate in his coverage. As a 5th round pick, the team wasn’t banking on anything more than a special teams contributor and situational linebacker.

He looks up to the task so far with possibly more upside than they anticipated but it would be unfair to expect an adequate starter from a 5th round pick. Especially after his interceptions against the Buccaneers in week three. Moving forward he should be considered quality depth but the team should be looking for 2 new starters at inside linebacker going into the 2020 season.

Tae Davis

Once thought of as a potential savior for this 2019 inside linebacker unit, Tae Davis was quickly replaced by Ryan Connelly in the starting lineup. Davis went from playing nearly all of the snaps against Dallas to playing none against the Bills. A former safety in college, Davis doesn’t have any issues with mobility playing linebacker.

Overall, Davis was originally an UDFA with little chance to carve out a significant role in the league. Based on how extreme his loss of snaps was he isn’t in line to impact this team in any way. He might not even be an adequate reserve piece. If he’s on the team in 2020 the team probably didn’t do a good enough job upgrading the inside linebackers.

Jabrill Peppers

Known as the 2nd main asset from the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, Jabrill Peppers is a ”swiss army knife” who plays safety but has other abilities. He can return kicks and punts and even carry the ball in a pinch. He did all of these things as a Michigan Wolverine on his way to becoming a 1st round pick for the Browns.

Peppers is not a pure strong or free safety. He’s matchup-based and does his best work in man coverage. His start as a New York Giant has been rocky but this defense is still figuring itself out in general. Overall, he’s a top-shelf athlete who has a ton of potential.

It’s more fair to consider him backup-caliber than a proven player at this point. If he taps into his potential he could be way more than that but at this time a team shouldn’t be comfortable relying on him. The team will only have him for 1 more season after 2019 if they don’t exercise his 5th year option. At this time Peppers should be considered more of a borderline starter than a significant asset.

Antoine Bethea

This was one of the more surprising signings of the offseason. Antoine Bethea has had a very successful career but he’s been playing for 14 years now. 1,200 tackles and 24 interceptions speaks for itself but what does a 35-year-old have to offer in a rebuild?

He hasn’t exactly been sharp this year and hasn’t been where he needs to be often enough for a guy who’s played for well over a decade. Even if Bethea is still an adequate starter he isn’t nearly a valuable asset for a team that’s in a rebuild. Going into 2020 it would be surprising if he sticks around.

Michael Thomas

One of the feel-good stories for this team is Michael Thomas who went from being a reserve in Miami to seeing playing time in New York. He even intercepted a couple passes last year showing some ability in shallow coverage and made a clutch tackle in week three to help the Giants beat the Buccaneers.

While Thomas is a decent backup and a slightly below-average starter being 30 years old really limits what he can offer a rebuilding team. Thomas offers some value at this time but isn’t a significant asset, especially when looking ahead to 2020.

Sean Chandler

The young safety was signed as an UDFA out of Temple in 2018. His most impactful play with the Giants was recovering a fumble against the Bears last year, which might go down as Eli Manning’s last win against a great team.

Barring an unusual outcome, Chandlers time with the Giants will be short-lived and he probably won’t make the team in 2020 if they overhaul this unit the way they should. Sure, there’s a chance he blossoms, but we can’t expect that from an UDFA until we see it.

Julian Love

The rookie out of Notre Dame was considered a cornerback on draft day but not to the Giants. He’s played some nickel here and there but his main position now is safety. Love played both positions at Notre Dame and was proficient in both man and zone coverages. Through 2 weeks he has not played on defense yet.

While many are ready to hit the panic button, not all rookies are instantly ready to play. We don’t know much about his worth in the NFL yet but we do know most analysts didn’t expect him to be available in the 4th round. According to Gettleman he “stuck out on our board” when the team was on the clock in the 4th round. For a rookie that appeared to have a rough preseason we can’t consider the ”draft-steal” a significant asset at this time.

Janoris Jenkins

The current number 1 cornerback of the New York Giants is a proven player but a frustrating player. His play ranges from very good to very poor. Against the Buccaneers in week three, Janoris was as bad as he’s ever been, allowing Mike Evans to total 190 yards, 3 touchdowns, and multiple clutch receptions.

Overall, he’s a number one corner in the league. But how much value does he offer to the Giants as a player who’s 30 years old? In a rebuilding season, Jenkins is technically a significant asset but one that will expire before this team is any good again. He holds no value in this teams future unless they can get a draft pick in exchange for Jenkins.

Known to be a little rough around the edges, he doesn’t possess the politically correct attitude this staff wants in its players. It’s fair to say Jenkins will probably be gone sooner than later. Even if the team doesn’t find a trade partner they probably won’t be interested in paying a $10M base salary to the declining veteran in 2020.

DeAndre Baker

It’s been a brutal start for the rookie cornerback. While this can be discouraging it wasn’t always normal to field first-year players in September, if at all. Don’t give up on the kid yet, most draft analysts thought he was the top cornerback in this class with very sticky coverage.

Most considered him a mid-1st round pick so getting him at 30 might be quite fortunate in terms of value. His lack of elite speed was apparent when he lined up against Amari Cooper but he was always expected to struggle against receivers with elite speed. Baker also looked improved against the Buccaneers. He will be a significant asset for this defense as long as he improves, which is more than likely considering his draft pedigree.

Corey Ballentine

Another small school product, Ballentine was a big fish in a small pond. He dominated his competition but went up against lesser talent, much like Oshane Ximines. His measurable’s stack up well at 6’0” with a 40 yard dash in the mid 4.4’s. He also has a knack for getting his head around while in coverage to either deflect a pass or force a turnover.

Ballentine displayed these skills intercepting a Davis Webb long ball during the preseason. Corey had a healthy dose of 1st team reps during training camp, showing he’s not far off from playing time. While he hasn’t been playing yet in 2019 the team sees him as a potential starter in 2020. Ballentine has great upside but can’t be considered a significant asset until we see him succeed in the regular season.

Sam Beal

The New York Giants selected Sam Beal in the 2018 Supplemental Draft. This is a rare occurrence for any team but Beal wasn’t your typical prospect in a Supplemental Draft. At Western Michigan, Sam Beal was a pest for opposing passing offenses. He stands at 6’1” but only weighs about 180 lbs. While he’s a little light his 4.4 speed made him a handful to deal with for college receivers.

Talent was never expected to be an issue with Beal, it was always his health. In his very first practice as a Giant he injured his shoulder and his season was over. This year the team could’ve put him on season-ending IR again but he will be eligible to return once he’s healthy. The team could’ve made better use of a 3rd round draft pick but Sam Beal still has great upside. Overall, we haven’t seen him on the field enough to consider him a significant asset.

Grant Haley

Another feel-good story for this team. Grant Haley was an UDFA in 2018 after playing for Penn State. He was originally on the practice squad but was signed onto the active roster to join his former college teammate Saquon Barkley. Throughout much of the summer the team tried to make Haley play outside corner which wasn’t a fit considering his 5’10” frame.

Since being signed to the active roster Haley has been proficient in the nickel position. The team doesn’t have a longterm deal worked out with him but he’s a significant asset for this defense as an adequate defensive back. If he continues his strong play in 2019 he could earn himself a long-term deal with the New York Giants.

Antonio Hamilton

While the 4th year UDFA had a respectable training camp he completely unwraveled against Dallas in week 1. As a 4th year player there isn’t the development excuse for Hamilton, the large majority of players are what they are in their 4th season. He hasn’t covered well or tackled well and lost most of his playing time in week 2. Originally thought of as strong cornerback depth, Hamilton has looked completely replaceable on defense thus far. Fortunately, Hanilton’s excellence as a gunner on special teams should keep him on the team through 2019 and maybe even 2020.

Overview:

After reviewing this defensive unit and their play through three games, the New York Giants are incredibly thin on defense.

The defensive line has significant assets but it’s the other positions that are lacking. With that said, the unit could still improve.

The team doesn’t have a single significant or proven asset at inside linebacker OR outside linebacker, in a 3-4 scheme. Below-average players and raw potential is the best this unit has to offer.

The secondary only has 2 significant assets heading into 2020 if you consider Janoris Jenkins and Antoine Bethea goners. This unit could look much better if guys like Corey Ballentine, Julian Love and Sam Beal develop the way the team expects them to. Until then they’re unproven prospects with upside.

The New York Giants will need to rebuild their defense after the 2019 season. Assuming DeAndre Baker progresses the way most 1st rounders do, he can be on a short list of significant and proven assets including Dexter Lawrence, BJ Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, RJ McIntosh and Grant Haley.

New York Giants: Where Is The Pass-Rush?

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

The New York Giants‘ defense has been criticized heavily throughout the week. The criticism is completely deserved as the Giants’ defense allowed the Cowboys’ offense to gain a total of 494 yards of offense in week one. They also allowed Dak Prescott to have a career day with a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

Prescott was rarely pressured and usually had all day to throw. The Giants did not record a sack against the Cowboys and the entire pass-rushing unit seemed to have disappeared. This begs the question, where is the Giants’ pass-rush?

Lorenzo Carter’s Disappointing Start To The Season:

There was a lot of hype surround Lorenzo Carter entering his second season. Carter flashed his potential in limited playing time as a rookie and seemed ready for an expanded role in 2019. Lorenzo got off to a hot start at training camp but has fizzled out since.

Lorenzo Carter, despite all of his highlights in practice, was nowhere to be found in the preseason. He did not record a sack and rarely pressured the quarterback. The hope was that this was just due to limited playing time in the preseason, but, unfortunately, it was just more of the same in week one.

Lorenzo Carter is young and extremely athletic. He has a huge frame and a lot of speed. If he can develop his technique as a pass-rusher Carter could be a special player. But he is going to need to put it together soon if he wants to help New York turn their season around.

The Defensive Line’s Disappearance:

Like Carter, there was a fair amount of hype surrounding the Giants’ defensive line heading into the 2019 season. The Giants have a ton of young talent on their defensive line, but it has not been clearly evident so far this season.

B.J. Hill looked like a draft steal after recording 5.5 sacks in his rookie season. Hill was the only defensive lineman to perform up to his standards in week one. He was solid in run defense and finished with four total tackles on the game. Still, no signs of pass-rush in this unit.

Dexter Lawrence was maybe the most underwhelming player on the Giants’ defensive line in week one. Granted, he is a rookie, and maybe he just needs more time to acclimate to the pro-game, but he was almost nonexistent against the Cowboys.

The Giants’ second first-round draft pick in 2019 was meant to be an instant-impact rookie. Lawrence is an underrated pass-rusher, but even if it takes him some time to get that part of his game going, his giant frame and run-defense abilities should impact the game. Unfortunately, it did not in week one.

The Giants’ defensive line is young and inexperienced. That could be the reason for their lack of impact against Dallas. But the Giants’ pass-rush as a whole might have an even bigger problem than player performances.

Signs Of A Poorly Coached Defense:

The Giants’ defense looked unprepared and lost on Sunday in Dallas. Players blew their assignments left and right. Every piece of the defense struggled, even the proven veterans. Cornerbacks were constantly burned, the defensive line got no push, linebackers fell for every play action.

These are the signs of a poorly coached defense. The players seemed like they had no clue what to do at times. When running play-action, Dak Prescott was 12-13 for 192 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is inexcusable. The Giants’ defense just does not know how to defend against play-action.

This is a deeper issue than a lack of talent. The Giants’ defense is not coached well enough to scheme together pressure or to cover play-action passes. Giants linebackers bit on just about every play-fake, despite the Cowboys running play-action on almost every pass.

This lack of discipline in the linebacker corps needs to be fixed heading into week two. The Giants have a good matchup against a turnover-happy Bills offense, led by second-year quarterback Josh Allen. If the Giants want to beat the Bills, their defense needs to keep Josh Allen from having a career day like Prescott.

New York Giants: Keys To Success Vs. The Dallas Cowboys

The NFL regular season is finally here. The New York Giants have their week one matchup coming up on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. in Dallas to take on the division-rival Cowboys. It will be of vital importance for the Giants to get off to a hot start this year, with the first four weeks arguably being the easiest stretch of games on the schedule.

The Cowboys were a playoff team last year. It will be a tough week one matchup on the road for the Giants. There are a couple of things the Giants need to focus on in order to win this game:

Protect Eli Manning

Eli Manning was sacked a career-high 47 times in 2018. The Giants have suffered through atrocious offensive line play for years but it looks like that might finally change in 2019. Dave Gettleman has made it his mission to rebuild the offensive line over the past two years and he has definitely succeeded to some degree.

No, the offensive line is still not the best in the league or even close to it, but they are definitely one of the league’s most improved units. The Giants added right guard Kevin Zeitler who will improve the Giants’ pass protection tremendously.

Zeitler allowed only 11 total pressures playing for the Browns in 2018 and will continue to be one of the best pass-blocking guards with the Giants in 2018. This will be important in week one against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have quietly gained one of the best pass-rushing defensive fronts in the NFL.

The Cowboys recently paid Demarcus Lawrence very handsomely. Lawrence has turned into one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, his two-year pass-rush grade (91.4) and two-year pass-rush win rate (19.4%) ranks fifth among the 60 NFL edge defenders with 500 or more pass-rush snaps since 2017.

Demarcus Lawrence recorded 14.5 sacks in 2017 and 10.5 sacks in 2018. He has also been known to poke lots of fun at Eli Manning on social media. The Giants’ new offensive line cannot allow Lawrence to keep disrespecting their quarterback. New York needs to make a statement in week one and shut down Demarcus Lawrence.

Be Prepared For Any Running Back

It is growing more and more likely that the Giants will have to face off against Ezekiel Elliott in week one. Up until this past weekend, the Giants were almost certain that Elliott would not have a contract by week one. But now, it seems almost certain that he will get the deal done with Dallas and play on Sunday.

The Giants know good and well what the NFL’s 2018 leading rusher is capable of. The Giants have faced off against Elliott only three times in the past three seasons (due to him missing one of the two contests each year). Elliott has totaled at least 70 yards in each of those three games and totaled over 100 yards in two of them.

The Cowboys’ offense runs through Zeke. So the Giants must be prepared to stop him. But what if Elliott does not play on Sunday? The Giants still need to be equally prepared for whichever running back does play. The Cowboys have one of the league’s best offensive lines, so any running back should produce behind it.

In fact, the Cowboys have a pretty talented backup running back that Giants head coach Pat Shurmur was admittedly a fan of. Pat Shurmur had this to say about Tony Pollard:

“He’s fast, has got really good instincts, good collision balance, he can catch the ball. So he’s got what you’re looking for in a runner. And it appears from what I’ve seen on tape and from what they’re saying that they’re really fond of what he’s done.” – Pat Shurmur, via NY Daily News

The Giants do have one of the best young defensive lines in the NFL. B.J. Hill impressed with 5.5 sacks as a rookie and Dalvin Tomlinson has been one of the league’s quiet superstars with his consistent run defense throughout his two-year career. The Giants also added Clemson hog molly Dexter Lawrence to the mix after drafting him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

New York has already stated that they are preparing for Sunday as if Elliott will be there. This should mean they will be prepared if Pollard is the back, too. Regardless, the Giants’ defensive line will have a tough matchup against the Cowboys’ offensive line that features three All-Pros.

New York Giants: How veteran defender Markus Golden can leave his mark

New York Giants

The New York Giants have invested in the rebuilding of the defensive front with Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, and B.J. Hill as their three down-lineman. Those three players are vital cogs in the run game and in disrupting the pass. However, the Giants are relying on several inexperienced outside linebackers to head their pass-rush.

Drafting Oshane Ximines with their third-round pick, Big Blue is looking to improve upon a terrible 2018 season in the sack-department. They tallied just 30 total sacks. Trading away Olivier Vernon probably won’t help either, but the Giants did bring in one veteran that can make an impact.

What are the New York Giants getting in Markus Golden?

Former Arizona Cardinal, Markus Golden is the veteran of the group, looking to revitalize his career after battling injuries in recent seasons. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher speaks of his defense with optimism, but he knows the quality of talent he has on the roster, and his primary goal is to extract every last ounce of it.

Golden is three years removed from a 12.5 sacks, 22 QB hits season. Those numbers attest to what he’s capable of on the football field, and what the Giants are hopefully getting out of the 28-year-old. An ACL tear in 2017 has damaged his performance, but it seems the veteran is finally back to full health.

“Now that my leg is healthy, of course I feel like I’m back,” he told SNY. “I’ve been doing this my whole life. It’s like, if you’re healthy, you’re able to go out and perform. I’m not even thinking about it. I feel ready physically and ready mentally.”

Pairing up with Lorenzo Carter on the opposite side, both Golden and the second-year Giant will help exponentially in recording more total sacks and quarterback hits. Bettcher will rely heavily on his outside linebacker to create a pass rush and unsettle the opposing quarterback in an attempt to force mistakes and get the ball back in Eli Manning’s hands.

Against the Bears, Golden absolutely obliterated a blocking tight end, sacking the QB and showing he still has some juice left in the tank. Hopefully, Bettcher will find a way to match Golden up with TEs and allow him to produce at a high level.

 

New York Giants: Will The Secondary Or Defensive Line Be Better In 2019?

The New York Giants‘ defense has undergone numerous changes this offseason. They have seen two star defenders leave, Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon, opening big holes in both the secondary and the front seven.

But the Giants have also made plenty of acquisitions to try to patch these holes. They revamped their secondary in the 2019 NFL Draft and also added a stud rookie defensive lineman to their already solid young core.

This raises an interesting question for the 2019 NFL season. Which unit will perform better? The secondary or the defensive line?

Why The Secondary Might Perform Better

The New York Giants‘ secondary has been one of the league’s worst over the past two years. In 2017, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.4 passing yards per game (ranked 31st in the NFL). In 2018, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.8 passing yards (ranked 23rd in the NFL), showing minimal to no improvement.

Fortunately, Big Blue has made some major changes to help improve the backend of the defense. New York drafted three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if counting Sam Beal). These young cornerbacks wi

The Giants should have a solid new cornerback duo in Janoris Jenkins and DeAndre Baker. Jenkins has been a solid player with the Giants the past three seasons and Baker is a talented young rookie that New York drafted in the first-round.

But the Giants are not just set on the outside. At slot cornerback, the Giants have bounds of talent. Grant Haley is heading into his second season after a promising rookie season that saw him break up 2 passes and total 33 tackles in only 10 games.

But the Giants now have options at slot cornerback. Julian Love was the Giants’ steal of the draft in the fourth round. He could see playing time at both slot cornerback and free safety.

The Giants’ best new defensive addition this offseason was Jabrill Peppers. The Giants acquired Peppers in a trade with Cleveland, and Jabrill should instantly be the Giants’ best defender. Peppers is a playmaker all over a defense, as he has experience playing just about everywhere.

In 2018, most of Jabrill’s snaps were played at safety (281 snaps), but he played a lot of snaps at linebacker (172 snaps), edge (133 snaps), and slot cornerback (108 snaps), too, according to Pro Football Focus. The Swiss-Army Knife Julius Peppers was able to snag an interception, a sack, and record 79 combined tackles.

The Giants’ new secondary has a lot of young potential. But this unit is not the only piece of the defense with a lot of potential.

Why The Defensive Line Might Peform Better

The New York Giants’ defensive line is vastly underrated as of right now. They have an immensly talented young core that should serve them well for the next decade (if Gettleman manages to keep everyone tigether).

First up on Big Blue’s feroucious defensive line is Dalvin Tomlinson. Tomlinson has been described by Pro Football Focus as one of the NFL’s secret defensive superstars. This is because of Dalvin’s incredibly efficient play throughout his first two professional seasons.

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. Tomlinson has also 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.

Next up is one of New York’s brightest young stars on defense, B.J. Hill. Hill was a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and he played much better than his draft stock in his rookie season.

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.

Last but not least, the Giants’ latest addition to the offensive line, Dexter Lawrence. The Giants drafted Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Lawrence is a young stud with tons of potential who could make an impact instantly.

Dexter Lawrence is known for his incredible work in run-defense, but he is also a criminally underrated interior pass-rusher. In three years at Clemson, Dexter totaled 131 tackles and 18 tackles for loss. But Dexter Lawrence also 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.

The Giants’ defensive line has the potential to be one of the best young defensive lines in the NFL in 2019. The secondary has a lot of potential, but the talent is not as proven as the defensive line. Personally, I think the defensive line will perform better out of the two units because the secondary has too many young and unproven players. However, both units should surprise and be a lot better than most expect them to be this season.

New York Giants: BJ Hill Preparing to take major leap in 2019

New York Giants, BJ Hill

After an inconsistent but impressive rookie campaign, New York Giants defensive lineman BJ Hill is preparing to take his game to the next level in year two.

Tallying 48 combined tackles with 5.5 sacks and 6 tackles for a loss, Hill showed his versatility and ability to get after the quarterback from a down lineman position. Featuring on the three-man line in the 3-4 system defensive coordinator James Bettcher prefers, Hill is developing into a quality run-stopper and pass-rusher.

While Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez collected most of the headlines being the Giants’ first and second-round picks, Hill quietly made an impact on the defense. His influence was quiet but influential, ranking third in the NFC East in run stops with 22. His partner, Dalvin Tomlinson, finished with 26, ranking first in the division.

The chemistry they inevitably built will prove to be beneficial in 2019, and the addition of Dexter Lawrence on the line will also give the unit a nice boost.

The New York Giants are headed in the right direction:

Hill was an effective run defender last season, but his 5.5 sacks set a franchise record for rookie pass rushers. That not only attests to his array of skills but foreshadows what’s to come in his sophomore season. With the Giants passing on an elite pass rusher in the 2019 NFL Draft, they’re relying heavily on their interior lineman to make an impact and get after the passer.

They truly believe that Hill, Tomlinson, and Lawrence can play in all facets of the defense and leave their mark in different ways. Hopefully, that prayer is answered — the unit seems to be in good shape moving forward considering their youth and skill-sets.

Extracting the most value out of them and ensuring they remain healthy will be difficult. Utilizing them on an every-down role will be difficult given their size and ask. I expect there to be a minimal rotation occurring – look for the Giants to bring in a veteran lineman to help in the trenches.

However, the tandem of Hill, Lawrence, and Tomlinson should have fans excited for the future!

New York Giants News, 7/8 – RJ McIntosh finally ready to produce?

New York Giants, RJ McIntosh

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

After missing all of 2018 with a supposed thyroid issue, defensive lineman RJ McIntosh is finally ready to make an impact on the season ahead. Back to full health, McIntosh has been working tirelessly to improve his stock and earn starting reps alongside Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, and BJ Hill.

While he’s a bit behind in the starting race due to his lack of experience and late-round draft grade, there’s hope when it comes to production. In his final season with Miami in 2017, RJ racked up 25 solo tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks.

In regards to his illness, the defender stated:

NJ Advance Media: “With prayer, I pray it doesn’t come back up. It was something I couldn’t control and I believe we do have it under control with this medical team.

“I feel great. I feel healthy. I feel like I’m ready.”

The 6-foot-4, 286-pound lineman is ready to make an impact, but it won’t be easy to crack the starting group, especially with Lawrence’s ability as a pass rusher and run stuffer. Dethroning Hill and Tomlinson will be difficult as well, so I anticipate him acting as a rotational option that can fill in during specific situations. Hopefully, he can provide some value to a youthful Giants defense led by James Bettcher.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day!

Cameron Hogwood (GMEN HQ) – R.J. McIntosh: Could the Giants defensive lineman get his shot in 2019?

Dan Benton (Giants Wire) – Giants’ Kevin Zeitler has one of NFL’s ‘biggest outlier contracts’

Patricia Traina (Big Blue View) – Giants’ 90-man roster: Can Sterling Shepard continue building on his expanded role in the offense?

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: DeAndre Baker and Sam Beal the future at cornerback?

Dan Benton (Giants Wire) – Giants’ Nate Solder: Protecting Eli Manning is key to success in 2019

[su_posts template=”templates/teaser-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”151323″ order=”desc”]

Check out the best news for yesterday!

New York Giants News, 7/7 – Receiver corps is better than it seems

New York Giants: What’s Dexter Lawrence’s role on the defense in 2019?

New York Giants defensive lineman, Dexter Lawrence.

The New York Giants drafted a big body in Dexter Lawrence, but what role will he play in the season ahead?

When general manager Dave Gettleman selected Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, most were dumb-founded.

After snagging Daniel Jones at No. 6, most were ready to admit Gettleman to an insane asylum. With Montez Sweat on the board, it was an interesting signing, but after further review, it makes sense given the Giants’ defensive scheme.

DC James Bettcher’s 3-4 style of play forced the interior defensive line to do a lot of the heavy lifting, ultimately valuing interior defenders more than outside linebackers. That attests to the lack of resources they allocated toward the position and why letting Olivier Vernon go wasn’t a caution-worthy decision.

Bringing in Lawrence will certainly have an impact in the run game, but how about the pass?

Big Blue is betting on Dexter Lawrence’s pass-rush skills to blossom:

Gettleman is excited about Lawrence, especially because he believes his pass-rush skills are present, despite only earning 1.5 sacks in 2018. However, he did record seven tackles for a loss. At 6-4, 342-pounds, the Clemson product could shed a few pounds in favor of increasing his speed off the line of scrimmage and helping him break into the backfield more efficiently.

“I gave them that perspective, so it’s kinda just up to me,” Lawrence said, according to the New York Post. “Cause I know who I am. I know I can pass rush and get to the quarterback. It’s up to me to prove myself right. And then, I tell the story. I don’t let anyone else tell the story.”

[su_posts template=”templates/teaser-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”151323″ order=”desc”]

Lawrence, who recently signed his rookie deal with the Giants, doesn’t pay too much attention to the press — a positive attribute considering the hostility of the New York media. Going about his own business and developing his tangible traits will be the priority in his rookie season.

The Giants do need him to be a force in the middle of the field and pairing up alongside Dalvin Tomlinson and BJ Hill should enable him to reach his potential.