After three years in the NFL, Dalvin Tomlinson has quietly proved that he is a force in this league; the team’s defense is going to need even more out of him in 2020 to thrive.
Dalvin Tomlinson is a member of the very small and secluded club otherwise known as the ‘NY Giants Jerry Reese holdovers’.
Now, with the way GM, Dave Gettleman, has gotten rid of almost every memory of Reese over the years player-wise (and otherwise, despite still blaming him for the lean roster), you have to understand that’s no small task to achieve.
He’s accomplished that ‘feat’ by continuing to play at a high level in all of his three years in the NFL, before exploding with a whole new element to his game – pass rushing – in 2019.
Even with his two solid first two years, he was not really being considered in future plans with the NY Giants until that boom in 2019, but if he can keep that level of play up, he should hopefully be here for a long time.
During his first two seasons, Tomlinson graded out remarkably well on Pro Football Focus, earning grades of 81.0 and 77.7. He earned those grades by being the glue guy in the middle of the defense that did the dirty work, mainly playing on run downs (53% and 57% snap counts).
Interestingly enough, his 2019 snap count stayed in line with those numbers, so you can’t attribute his newfound pass-rushing success to more playing time.
Although the NY Giants rush ‘D’ hasn’t been dominant over the past three seasons, I’d hate to have to have seen what it would have looked like without him taking on two offensive lineman at a high level and still making plays, but more often (and maybe more importantly) opening things up for those around him.
Then came Tomlinson’s big breakout in 2019, which oddly enough didn’t up his PFF grade (78.1), despite transforming from a run stuffer and glue guy into a bonafide pass rusher seemingly overnight.
It’s hard to believe, but even playing in over half of the NY Giants’ defensive snaps in 2017/2018 he only accumulated ONE quarterback hit.
Well, due to a variety of reasons – namely better players around him – Tomlinson increased that production 9 times over ( 9 QB hits in 2019).
He also added a career-high 3.5 sacks and 13 QB pressures, to contribute to what many feel is the strongest position group on the team.
So, while Tomlinson will undoubtedly still be a “glue guy” for the most part, this new element to his game is sure to only help the NY Giants defense on its way back to respectability in a major way in 2020.
What is Dalvin Tomlinson’s future with the NY Giants beyond 2020?
I was hoping that the NY Giants would be wise with their huge amount of 2020 cap space and invest in the young and talented Tomlinson in the form of an extension as he heads into his fourth season – that’s what shrewd GM’s do – but instead, they chose not to.
Other than being vaguely mentioned by Dave Gettleman on a list of young players that may be up for extensions soon (where he was really pandering and coming up with excuses for not locking up much premium talent despite having $80M+ at his disposal), no news has broken about the team looking to re-up him for the future.
I think that’s a mistake, as if his 2019 trajectory is an indicator of how he’ll play in 2020, his value will only go up and he will be more expensive.
It makes me wonder if he is really in the NY Giants’ future plans, as you could make the argument the team is actually over-stacked at the defensive line position with guys like RJ McIntosh and BJ Hill already being left out of the equation.
The only thing that could make me more upset about the disaster that was the Leonard Williams trade, is if Dalvin Tomlinson is moved on from due to having a cheaper replacement behind him in BJ Hill that the team used a pretty high draft pick on.
Hopefully, the team doesn’t lose him next year in free agency, because even though I believe the team has reinforcement behind him, he’s proven he can be a special and consistent player.
That’s not something you can attribute to many NY Giants over the past few seasons.
Dalvin Tomlinson deserves to get paid next offseason – or before – and be a member of the NY Giants in 2020 and beyond.