Top 5 candidates to have a breakout in year two for the NY Giants

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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NY Giants
Dexter Lawrence of the NY Giants (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

2. Dexter Lawrence

Prior to being suspended for the 2018 College Football Playoffs because of testing positive for a trace amount of PED’s, Dexter Lawrence was in consideration to be selected in the top 5 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Clemson University would later announce that they may have unknowingly supplied Lawrence with a product that contained the banned substance ostarine.

Regardless, the suspension and recency bias from not playing in the playoffs caused Lawrence to slip to the NY Giants with the 17th overall selection in the 2019 draft. He would fall behind fellow defensive linemen Clelin Ferrell, Ed Oliver, and Christian Wilkins despite once being considered a lock to be drafted higher than those players.

Lawrence would reward the NY Giants for their faith in him with a stellar rookie campaign. The 6’5″ and 345-pound monster defensive lineman would grade out as PFF’s top rookie interior defensive lineman with a grade of 76.1. He was also their top-graded rookie in terms of run defense with a grade of 76.3.

Lawrence would start all 16 games for the NY Giants, recording 38 total tackles, two and a half sacks, one forced fumble, one pass deflection, three tackles for a loss, and nine quarterback hits in 2019. In addition to being a stout run defender, Lawrence also showed the ability to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

After a year of playing experience, Lawrence is poised to build upon an impressive rookie season. With a full year of having veteran Leonard Williams as a defensive linemate, along with having the benefit talented young players like Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill playing alongside him, Dexter Lawrence is primed to show that the best is yet to come for the extremely talented 22-year-old defensive lineman.