Opening Night: One on One Battles
The New York Giants will step foot on the Ford Field gridiron in 12 days — at which point all personnel prognostications will go out the window. Guesswork will be replaced by actual on-field results against W/L motivated, starting caliber talent.
It’s not always the “sexy” matchup’s that provide compelling intrigue. On September 8th, we’re looking forward to a head to head clash smack in the middle of the line of scrimmage between two members of the 2013 NFL Draft class.
Hankins versus Warford
Despite the Giants mass rotations along the defensive front, RG Larry Warford should see plenty of left defensive tackle “Big Daddy” Hankins up in his grill.
Using last year as our guide, it appears Warford will be up for the challenge: Pro Football Focus ranked Warford as the top offensive rookie — ahead of Eddie Lacy and Keenan Allen– with a +22.2 overall PFF grade. The third-round choice wasn’t directly responsible for a sack of Matthew Stafford all season long… as a 22-year old. While he’s not asked to block the beasts of burden at left tackle, the feat is exceedingly impressive nonetheless.
Hankins: Rising StarTom Coughlin eased Hankins into his NFL surroundings, but the former Buckeye quietly put forth a stalwart effort at DT. According to PFF’s measure of run defense efficacy termed “Run Stop Percentage”, Hankins finished 7th at his position with a +10.5 grade. In addition to his natural girth (320 pounds to be kind), Hankins displayed nimble feet and the ability to chase plays down the line of scrimmage.
Behind a year of experience and improved technique, “Big Daddy” will be a force to be reckoned with up the gut. But he will undoubtedly have his work cut out during the Monday night opener…
Who will hold the upper hand in this battle of the ‘up and coming’ uglies?