Now that Dalvin Tomlinson has been lost in free agency, the New York Giants have to find his replacement. That player — or players — could be either an internal or an external fix depending on which option presents itself.
The Giants will miss Tomlinson, who started all 64 of the Giants’ games since joining the team as a second-round selection out of Alabama in the 2017 NFL draft.
New York did, however, secure the services of Leonard Williams for the next three seasons, so there’s a start.
Dexter Lawrence, entering his third season, is still in the middle of the Giants’ line giving them a solid presence, but they need a third starter and some depth in their D-Line rotation.
Outside of Williams and Lawrence, the other starter is tentatively Austin Johnson, who the Giants signed to a one-year deal right before free agency began. The others on the depth chart are B.J. Hill, R.J. McIntosh, Breeland Sparks, David Moa and Niko Lalos.
The Giants could probably live with that group but they likely won’t. They will bring in either a free agent or a draft pick to join this rotation.
The free-agent pool consists of Geno Atkins, Jurell Casey, Kawaan Short, Daquan Jones and Danny Shelton. All five have been on the market for a while, so the Giants could land one of them on the cheap on a one-year deal. All still have some game and would work well in a rotational setup.
In the draft, there a quite a few options and perhaps the Giants are better off finding their man there.
Some names to consider: Alabama’s Christian Barmore, Alim McNeil of N.C. State, Florida State’s Marvin Wilson, Davyion Nixon of Iowa, USC’s Jay Tufele, Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike, Tommy Togiai of Ohio State, LSU’s Tyler Shelvin, Marlon Tuipulotu of USC, Texas A&M’s Bobby Brown and Osa Odighizuwa (younger brother of Owa) of UCLA, who hopefully will have a better career than his brother did.
Other players of note: Adetokunbo Ogundeji of Notre Dame, Tulane’s Cam Sample and Jaylen Twyman of Pitt, who reminds some scouts of the great Aaron Donald.
So, don’t fret Giant fans, there are are lot of options at defensive line for Big Blue on the current landscape.