Year after year, the impact made by the New York Giants draft classes varies.
But if there is one area in particular where the Giants, according to Pro Football Focus, have excelled in drafting, it’s in their ability to scout defensive tackles.
Notes the analytics Giant of the Giants’ success rate with scouting and drafting defensive tackles:
Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, Dexter Lawrence — the Giants know a good all-around defensive tackle when they see one. The problem is that it’s not a particularly valuable position to continually knock out of the park.
The Giants' success in finding quality defensive interior linemen extends beyond the last five years if one considers how Johnathan Hankins, Linval Joseph, Barry Cofield, Cornelius Griffin, and Keith Hamilton, just to name a few, were studs back in the day for the Giants defenses.
But what’s funny about the Giants' success rate in scouting defensive tackles is that they’ve almost come to rely on their ability to hit those picks out of the park. Hence, when it comes time to re-sign players at those positions to second contracts, they almost would prefer to let them walk away rather than retain them, largely because they often have a youngster in the pipeline.
Such will probably be the case this off-season. Dalvin Tomlinson, a second-round pick in 2017, will be an unrestricted free agent. While he’s thought to be a priority to re-sign, the Giants need for several dominoes to fall into place if they’re to retain Tomlinson, a team captain last year, and defensive end Leonard Williams.
If they aren’t able to retain Tomlinson—and again, it’s not impossible, but it’s a longshot—the thinking is that B.J. hill could assume Tomlinson’s role while the team once again dips into the draft class for another young player to develop.
The Giants have been able to get away with this approach at defensive tackle for several years, but at some point, the cycle of success risks being broken. And isn’t it better to retain and reward your own homegrown picks—players that you know what you have in them—than to run the risk of having to start from scratch ever so many years while those players you let go before they hit their peak go on to find success with another team?
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