The NY Giants defense is at its best when the front four is clicking as a unit. Having a disruptive front in a 4-3 really open things up for the rest of the defense, but especially the LB unit. In 2016 the Giants had a formidable tandem of Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Jonathan Hankins, who were flanked by DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon. Hankins left in free agency this past off season and left an opening on the D-line and a need to be filled. Owa Odighizuwa, expected to be the next man up, hasn’t been seen since April and tweeted he was taking time “away from the game”. So with his future in doubt, there is still a need at DT. This leaves a big opportunity for rookie Dalvin Tomlinson (@DalvinTomlinson), who the Giants took in the 2nd round with 55th overall pick in the draft.
I have had the opportunity to see a lot of Tomlinson being an SEC fan. Tomlinson gives the Giants everything they need and want at DT. When I went back and watched his tape, it only confirmed my assessment of him. He’s an old school NT and at 6’3” 310 lbs. he will be a space-eater who will occupy multiple blockers. He really stood out on film, making play after play. He can collapse the pocket and will give the Giants defense some much-needed pass rush from the inside. When matched up in one-on-one situations, Tomlinson was the dominant player of the two. Strong at the point of attack and very intelligent in understanding, he can be a factor on every play, whether it’s a run or pass situation. Even when he couldn’t get in the backfield to pressure QBs, he showed his alertness to get hands up and knock down a number of pass attempts. Tomlinson has an above average motor and will chase down plays on a regular basis. He reads and sheds very well, not allowing blockers to lock-on. Some will question if his success was a result of being surrounded by a lot of talent in college but, I think he was part of the talent that made others around him better. All you have to do is watch his tape and see his talent. He has an excellent chance to step in and be a factor without worrying about being the focal point or having to carry the D-line.
From a fantasy standpoint, he is going to be highly sought after by owners who are required to start DT. He plays a position that doesn’t have a lot of star power, as the Aaron Donald’s and Ndamukong Suh’s are few and far between. With that said, there can still be value found at the position and Tomlinson landed in a great spot that will allow him to be a viable fantasy option. Since 2010 (Suh’s rookie season), only five DTs (Ndamukong Suh, Karl Klug, Fletcher Cox, Chris Jones, Aaron Donald and Maliek Collins) have tallied 5+ sacks in their rookie seasons – and I can see Tomlinson easily being the sixth. He should record somewhere between 20-30 tackles, 5+ sacks and 5+ pass break-ups. I believe his value is slotted somewhere in the 4th to 6th rounds. It’s possible you can get him even later or as a free agent pickup if other owners are sleeping on him. Long term, I think Tomlinson’s value gets even better, as he learns the Pro game.
Follow me on Twitter: @DFF_DWIN