Change was a constant theme in the Giants preseason and one of them that occurred was the G-Men switched from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense. With this change in scheme, there was now going to be a need for a different style of defensive end and nose tackle. Instead of a speedy pass rusher, there would need to be a massive run stopper to neutralize the opposition at defensive end. Plus, the nose tackle would need to command double teams while applying pressure to the quarterback and stopping the run. While this task would be difficult there are promising players on the Giants defensive line that could lead to the G-Men becoming one of the most feared defenses in the NFL.
The star defensive tackle coming into 2018 for Big Blue was Damon “Snacks” Harrison who since signing in the 2016 offseason was an All-Pro and considered one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. Yet, with the Giants putrid start, Harrison was traded to the Lions for a 5th round draft pick. While many thought this was going to be a death knell for the G-Men Harrison’s replacement was already on the roster.
While Harrison was shipped to Detroit, Dalvin Tomlinson was the primary beneficiary as he became the 1st string nose tackle and did not disappoint. The 2017 2nd round pick from Alabama was the best defensive lineman for Big Blue with a grade of 78.9 according to Pro Football Focus. And this was Tomlinson’s second season in the NFL and there are other young guns on the defensive line to make Giant fans excited going to into 2019.
Even though the Giants struggled in 2018 Giants General Manager David Gettleman had a successful draft in 2018 and two reasons why were because of the play of B.J. Hill and R.J McIntosh. Hill was a 3rd round pick and started 12 of 16 games in 2018 while amassing 5.5 sacks in his rookie campaign. McIntosh took some time to get playing time as he played in 6 games yet McIntosh could be critical in providing depth at a position that Gettleman prioritized in 2018.