New York Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence just finished his third consecutive year playing a full season's worth of games for the Giants and has become a staple of the New York Giants defensive front.
The Giants showed just how important they consider Lawrence by picking up his fifth-year option, which will take effect next year as we head into the 2022 season.
As the Giants continue to add talent to the front seven and bring in what should be a more aggressive and unique defensive scheme, Dexter Lawrence may play a considerable role in creating a highly effective pass rush and is trending toward his best season yet.
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What He Brings
The Giants have had a lot of defensive linemen over the years, and it is clear that the team seems to have a "type," which includes big-bodied linemen who can even play nose tackle over some of the “undersized” options.
Lawrence certainly fits this mold. At 6-foot-4, 342 pounds, Lawrence brings size and power to the Giants' defensive front. This power is beneficial in creating match-up problems for opposing offensive linemen.
Lawrence has the strength not only to drive linemen into the backfield to collapse the pocket but can consistently be an anchor in the middle of the line, forcing running backs to bounce runs outside.
Lawrence will be great for Wink Martindale's defense, as he can move him around the defensive line. Lawrence has the size to play at the nose tackle position and the athleticism and quickness that would be necessary elsewhere.
Although Lawrence very well may find his home on the end of the line this season and stay there, versatility is never a bad thing, and this ability to move around may prove valuable to the Giants.
As a pass rusher, Lawrence hasn’t taken the massive step up that many fans have been hoping for, but he has the skillset. Lawrence is deceivingly athletic and possesses a powerful and effective bull rush.
Moreover, with the addition of players like Kayvon Thibodeaux, expect Lawrence's job to become a bit easier, leading to more effectiveness on this front.
The Giants signed Lawrence, the 17th overall pick in the 2019 draft, to a four-year, $13.2 million contract with a $7.6 million signing bonus. This season, Lawrence will account for a $4.2 million cap hit.
Although the Giants opted to decline fellow 2019 draftee Daniel Jones’ 5th-year option, they did pick up Lawrence’s at a $10.7 million price tag for next year. Lawrence's fifth-year option will significantly increase from the $2.3 million base salary he is set to earn this coming season.
As of now, Lawrence is listed as the nose tackle on the depth chart. It will be interesting to see if the Giants opt to play him at the end more, allowing players like David Moa and fifth-round selection D.J. Davidson to see more of the field.