The Giants signed defensive tackle Austin Johnson, formerly with the Titans, last off-season. Johnson, who played his college ball at Penn State, is a player with whom Giants defensive line coach Sean Spencer worked, so there was an element of familiarity there.
Johnson was one of the most underrated signings made by the Giants last year. Serving as a rotational defensive tackle, he was a solid run-first nose tackle plugger with just enough mobility to get to the edges.
He found the ball well (18 tackles, one sack) and played his gaps with power and discipline while also being a solid wrap-up tackler who only missed one tackle attempt.
What He Brings
Johnson offers exceptional size and girth with a thick lower body, which allows him to anchor. A natural 0- or 1-tech, he has enough mobility to play 3-tech, though his best position is at the nose.
He plays with excellent hustle and pursuit and fights off double-team secure blocks to work himself into the mix. His signature move is his bull rush, in which he shows the power and force to walk a center backward.
Johnson doesn’t necessarily have the length for a classic stack-and-shed nose tackle, and at times, his pad level can be inconsistent. Regardless, he has shown himself capable of forcing double team blocks and winning his one-on-one matchups.
Johnson signed a one-year deal worth a fully guaranteed $3 million that includes a $1.5 million base salary and a $1.5 million roster bonus which he has already collected.
There's a reason why the Giants gave Johnson a 100% raise.
Johnson, who played in 231 defensive snaps last year, is projected to rotate at nose tackle with projected starter Danny Shelton as the Giants look to replace the production they lost when Dalvin Tomlinson walked out the door.
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