Giants 2013: Defensive Positional Grades

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Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Ends

Justin Tuck rated as a top-10 run stuffer among 4-3 ends (11.7) by Pro Football Focus. His sack total of 11, however, was skewed by two huge games against Washington — he had 1.5 sacks through the first ten weeks. Tuck is solid, but the explosive plays are gone with the wind.

If your season’s work draws immediate association to a pair of costly penalties, that’s never a good sign. Mathias Kiwanuka finished in the bottom three of 4-3 DE’s in overall body of work. No consistent pass rush effort and he loses contain in the run game. His penalties in the Dallas game were killer. Whether the 30-year old can still be productive is a legitimate question…

Jason Pierre-Paul was a beast versus the run in 11 games, playing to a 9.6 grade and notching 18 run stops. But pass rush? 2 sacks, 6 hits and 23 hurries — even in a less than impressive 2012 he recorded seven sacks and 43 hurries. The Giants need JPP to get back to 100% and regain freak form.

Albeit in a limited sample size, Damontre Moore looked the part of impact DE. Seven QB hurries in 100 pass rush snaps. His speed and disruptive length were also on display on his blocked punt versus Oakland. On a defense in desperate need of athleticism, Moore fits the bill.

Grade: C+

Defensive Tackles

Linval Joseph recorded 34 solo tackles on the interior of the line, and ranked 16th amongst DT’s with a run rating of 8.0. If he opts to leave for free agency, which seems likely, the Giants will sorely miss their talented anchor.

The Giants got a dependable pass rush from free agent acquisition Cullen Jenkins. He pressured the QB 27 times (5 sacks), surpassing the totals of both Kiwanuka and JPP from their end spots.

When healthy, veteran Mike Patterson served his anticipated function: a blockade of the running game.

Rookie Johnathan Hankins was quietly stout against the run in his 195 snaps. “Big Hank” is unusually mobile tracking runners across the line and sheds blockers adroitly. His activity level was impressive in limited work — now it’s time to stretch him out.

Grade: A

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  • Joseph Bulger

    This is a solid defense missing just a few key players to become top 5… most notably a top shelf CB opposite Prince, and a big time WILL. I’m thinking there are FA fills for both. Drafting 12th could present JR with an opportunity to go for Darqueze Dennard, but as tempting as that is, JR is committed to fixing the offense first and foremost. If he goes CB with 12, and then tries to compensate with a top Guard at 43, he may end up with no starting o-line draft talent in 2014, and he can’t afford to fix multiple holes with FAs. That’s too expensive… 1st round pick Justin Pugh costs less than $2M in 2014 CAP, whereas 2nd round FA acquisition Center Baas is a $8M 2014 CAP hit. In essence JR could go top tier OT and top OG on day 1, with starter level talent in 2014, and the total cap hit for both would be HALF of what it would be to get just one FA lineman. JR should go get WILL Wesley Woodyard, but he’ll be expensive. Nonetheless, Williams-Beason-Woodyard is a solid LB corps.