Third-year Giants defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh did enough during training camp last year to convince the new coaching staff to carry him on the 53-man roster.
Convincing them, however, to let him play any snaps was another story, as McIntosh never got a game-day uniform. In fact, since landing with the Giants as a fifth-round draft pick in 2018, McIntosh has appeared in just 18 games, six as a rookie (he missed part of that season due to an undisclosed health issue that landed him on the non-football injury list), and 12 games in 2019.
A likely reason for McIntosh's inability to get on the field is because the defensive linemen in front of him on the team's depth chart were healthy for the most part, leaving little to no opportunity for McIntosh to gain that coveted game-day uniform.
With that said, this 25-year-old former Miami Hurricane is still something of a mystery to those outside the organization, so let's see if we can't piece together what his appeal is and why he will get another opportunity to compete for a roster spot this summer.
What He Brings
In 18 career games played, McIntosh, ideally built for a 3-4 defensive front (he stands 6'4" and weighs 285 pounds), has 18 tackles, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, and two sacks on his NFL resume.
Before that, McIntosh, in three seasons at Miami, where he moved into the starting lineup his sophomore season and started 24 straight games, finished his college career with 95 total tackles (22 for a loss), 5.0 sacks, one forced fumble, and nine passes defensed.
Coming out of college, McIntosh had acceptable speed and quickness, but his strength at the time to hold his own on run defense was a question mark, as was his pass-rushing skill set.
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In particular, his hand usage to fight off blockers and lis inconsistency in establishing a base to where he's not neutralized were issues when he came out of college.
But again, the lack of playing time at the NFL level, especially under the current coaching staff, leaves it as anyone's guess as to how far along he's come in improving in those areas.
McIntosh also blocked two kicks for the Hurricanes in his final season, so he has special teams experience. But unless he's improved his anchor and hand usage, he's likely going to remain at or near the bottom of the depth chart.
McIntosh enters the final year of his rookie deal and will count for $1,000,367 against the cap. If he doesn't make the 53-man roster, the Giants will save $920,000 against the cap and eat $80,367 in dead money.
McIntosh currently projects as the sixth man on the defensive line rotation, behind Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Austin Johnson, B.J. Hill, and Danny Shelton. While he could land on the practice squad, he'll have to show he has more upside than undrafted free agent Raymond Johnson III.
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