Giants Add Defensive Lineman Austin Johnson
The Giants defensive line, regarded as a team strength, is getting some additional reinforcement.
Unrestricted free agent defensive lineman Austin Johnson, a second-round pick (No. 43 overall) of the Titans in 2016, has agreed to terms with the Giants, a source confirmed.
The Athletic - New York was first with the report.
Johnson, 6-4, 314 pounds, played his college ball at Penn State, where he was coached by Sean Spencer, now the Giants defensive line coach.
Johnson has primarily been listed as a nose tackle in his career but is versatile enough to play anywhere along the defensive line. The Galloway, New Jersey native has appeared in 58 games with the Titans, with 13 starters over his four-year NFL career. He has 83 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 5 passes defensed.
In three seasons at Penn State, Johnson appeared in 38 games and recorded 28 starts, including starts in all 26 games as a sophomore and junior. He totaled 154 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 24 tackles for loss, eight passes defensed, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries, including a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
During his junior season (2015), he started all 13 games and was named second-team All-Big Ten by the media and third-team All-Big Ten by the coaches. He was also named All-Big Ten by BTN.com and ESPN.com and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from the Associated Press and Athlon Sports.
Johnson ranked second on the team that season with 15.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, and second among defensive linemen in FBS and third on the team with 78 tackles, posting the most tackles for a Penn State defensive lineman since Jimmy Kennedy (87) in 2002.
Johnson graduated in 2015 with a journalism degree. He is the ninth free agent who last year played with another team added by the Giants this off-season, joining cornerback James Bradberry, linebackers Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell, tight end Levine Toilolo, tackle Cam Fleming, defensive back Nate Ebner, quarterback Colt Mccoy, and running back Dion Lewis.