The needs of the New York Giants were very clear entering the 2017 NFL draft with many agreeing tight-end, tackle and quarterback being the top priorities. The need at tight-end was addressed in the first round with the selection of Evan Engram and the quarterback need was addressed in the 3rd round with Davis Webb going to Big Blue. While in the 2nd round Jerry Reese and the Giants brass went with defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. Currently, defensive tackle is not a top priority for the G-men but Tomlinson could be the best pick in the 2017 draft for the Giants.
In the romantic view of football, the quarterback is to age together with either the coach or a great wide receiver. Tom Brady has formed a successful combination in New England and in the 1980s Joe Montana and wide -receiver Jerry Rice established the San Francisco 49ers as a dynasty. Yet with every other unit in football, you do not want a specific unit aging together. For example, if the offensive line grows old together odds are the rushing attack and pass protections will start to decline.
While the New York Giants had one of the best defensive fronts in 2016 with Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, and Damion Harrison adding new blood to the defensive front makes sense. First, the need at defensive tackle was created when Johnathan Hankins left for Indianapolis Colts. Tomlinson will see a lot of reps in 2017 at defensive tackle. 2nd when Tomlinson reaches the end of his rookie contract the three players in JPP, Vernon, and Harrison could be closer to retirement if not retired already. By having Tomlinson he could act as a bridge from JPP to the next line of pass rushers for the G-men.
Adding depth to the defensive line is also a strategy that has helped the Giants out previously. In 2005 Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora were the defensive ends for the Giants and Strahan and Umenyiora terrorized quarterbacks. While some were surprised when the Giants drafted Tuck in 2005 when Strahan retired after the 2007 season Tuck slide into the defensive end role seamlessly. In 2010 when Tuck and Umenyiora were leading the charge JPP was drafted in the first round and that move paid dividends for years to come.
While time will tell what happens to the defensive front Tomlinson can be the presence up front for the Giants. Currently, Tomlinson just needs to play his role in the defensive scheme but if he develops to his full potential Tomlinson could be the driving force up the middle that allows the next generation of Giant defensive ends to make an impact in the NFL.