Dalvin Tomlinson Is A BIG Addition to The Giants

The Giants added an enormous piece to their defense in the NFL Draft: Alabama’s Dalvin Tomlinson.

After finding a tight end in the first round, the Giants addressed another area of need in round two. With Johnathan Hankins now playing in Indianapolis, the Giants needed to bring in another defensive tackle. They found that guy in Alabama’s Dalvin Tomlinson.

Despite other names like Zach Cunningham on the board, Tomlinson was an excellent pick by the Giants. As Ethan Levy pointed out on Twitter, last year’s Giants defense proved that linebacker deficiencies can be masked with a stout front four.


Expert’s Take

“You saw last year what Damon Harrison gave the Giants inside and here comes Dalvin Tomlinson. When I watched the Clemson game this year, Dalvin Tomlinson was the best player on the field for Alabama. Very consistent. Stout at the point of attack. Can give you some pass rush inside and collapse the pocket.” — Charles Davis

Strengths

First off, Tomlinson is a really intelligent dude. He had an offer to go to Harvard based on his brains, but decided to head down to the SEC and wreak havoc on offensive lines. I think Tomlinson made the right choice. Another thing about Tomlinson’s game is he knows how to use leverage. Also, Tomlinson is a very good athlete, which you probably wouldn’t expect by looking at him. He’s an ex-wrestler and soccer — yes, soccer — player, and that athleticism is apparent when he’s on the field.

As a run-stopper, Tomlinson is tough to move. He uses his raw power to shed blocks, and he’s aware and perceptive enough to locate where the ball is going. He’s quick and fast, which makes him one of the premiere run-stoppers in this year’s draft.

Deshaun Watson gets rocked.

Despite his size, Tomlinson will prove to be an immense upgrade over the departed Hankins in terms of interior pressure. He isn’t going to be able to beat double-teams on a consistent basis, but he doesn’t have to. The Giants didn’t draft him to be a pass-rushing specialist. They took him to stop the run, and push the pocket when necessary.

This is a play Hankins won’t make.

Another thing I like about Tomlinson is that whenever he can’t get to the quarterback in rushing situations, he usually gets his hands up. That’s effort and football IQ, folks.

Tomlinson is also relatively versatile in where he can play. At Alabama, Nick Saban used him inside and outside, which showcases how talented this kid is.

Tomlinson is a team-first guy who will do anything a coach asks him to do, which has to make the Giants absolutely salivate. He’s motivated by his late mother’s words, and his character is through the roof.

Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples discussed why Tomlinson was this year’s biggest badass, mentioning how technically sound the big man is.

“NFL teams had better have two country strong offensive linemen who know how to get low and use their hands effectively if they hope to move Tomlinson out of his assigned gap. Otherwise, he’ll do what he always does — his assigned task — and like Tomlinson’s Alabama teammates, they’ll be begging to tap out.”

His constant drive and work ethic is going to be welcomed with open arms by the rest of the Giants defensive line.

Weaknesses

Perhaps the largest caveat with Tomlinson is the fact that he has a torn ACL in both knees. That’s never a good sign to see in an early draft pick. Hopefully those injuries aren’t a concern in the pro. Additionally, according to Pro Football Focus, he only has one season playing more than 50 percent of defensive snaps.

Aside from that, there isn’t really much to nitpick about Tomlinson’s game.

He isn’t flashy, but he’s going to do what he’s supposed to do. One little concern is that he’s far too reliant on the swim move when rushing the passer. That’s not a huge issue, though, and he now has two premiere pass-rushers to help show him more moves.

A big knock I saw on Tomlinson is that he played on a great defense, which helped hide some of his flaws. Well … he’s now going to a, you guessed it, great defense where he’ll be surrounded by talented players on the defensive line.

How does he fit?

Sheesh … good luck running the football, Dallas Cowboys. If you thought having Damon Harrison was bad enough, now offensive lines are going to have to deal with Snacks and Tomlinson. Tomlinson, as an all-around player, is an upgrade over Johnathan Hankins.

If I were a betting man, I would bet a lot of green on Tomlinson earning the starting defensive tackle spot opposite of Snacks. He’s an NFL-ready player who can contribute from day one. Steve Spagnuolo is going to fucking love how coachable this guy is.

If you want this in layman’s terms: New York let Johnathan Hankins go, saved money and drafted a player who’s as good, if not a better run-stopper, and is a much better pass-rusher. That ain’t too shabby.

Grade: A-

Talk Giants with Ryan on Twitter: @DisdierSports