Home New York Giants News PFF ranks Giants’ defensive line in middle of NFL pack

PFF ranks Giants’ defensive line in middle of NFL pack

by Giants Wire

When it comes to ranking the defensive lines in the NFL these days, the New York Jets are at the top of the list, say the folks at Pro Football Focus.

The San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, and Cleveland Browns are also in the mix.

Where are the New York Giants, you ask? Well, right near the middle, even though they possess the best nose tackle in football in Dexter Lawrence.


Lawrence is a unique player, winning at a greater rate and with far more volume than any other nose tackle in the game when rushing the passer. Adding Brian Burns in the offseason gives the Giants a much better threat on the edge, and now the team needs Kayvon Thibodeaux to take a step forward. Though he got into double-digit sacks in Year 2, he had just 43 quarterback pressures from 520 pass-rushing snaps and his PFF pass-rushing grade declined from his rookie season.

The Giants’ front seven will be interesting under incoming defensive coordinator Shane Bowen. Last year, under Wink Martindale, they were a 3-4 base. This year, they’ll be more of a hybrid. We’ll know more when training camp begins in a month.

With Lawrence in the middle, Burns at one end, and Thibodeaux at the other, the Giants have some studs up front to build around. They signed free agent veteran Jordan Phillips to their rotation, which also includes Rakeem Nunez-Roches and a slew of young hopefuls.

Bowen said that he won’t be blitzing at the rate Martindale did, but the pass rush was still a priority. The maturation of Thibodeaux will also be key to the defense’s success.

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