DE Montez Sweat
It was evident that the 2019 draft class was built for teams in need of new defensive talent, something the Giants desperately needed. Only 12 of the 32 picks went to offense.
The Giants were the 24th overall defense in 2018. Not a single player on the defense had more than 100 tackles. And Kerry Wynn led defensive ends in tackles with 39. Wynn, who played two games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2019 but hasn’t played since, also had 1.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles.
As great as 2019’s infamous mid-season trade for Leonard Williams has matured, the Giants could have filled the gap at defensive end in the draft.
Montez Sweat was selected by Washington with the 26th overall pick. And since then, he’s now commanded one side of their defensive line, paving way for their selection of Chase Young to complete their unit the following year.
Sweat leads Young in sacks this year, eight vs. 6.5. And as great as Williams has been for the Giants, who’s to say the Giants’ defensive line wouldn’t be even stronger with Sweat.
In his two seasons, Sweat has 90 total tackles, 15 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, and 30 QB hits. He also has eight pass deflections and four forced fumbles.
This year, he even has an interception that he brought back for a touchdown.
The Giants’ third-selected player in 2019’s first round, DeAndre Baker, had just eight pass deflections.
Baker was targeted 88 times in his rookie campaign. He allowed 54 receptions, for 850 yards and 6 touchdowns. The average quarterback rating when he was targeted was 116.2.
Had the Giants been able to get Sweat, their defense would have been that much stronger that much quicker. But instead, he’ll be a thorn in the Giants’ side for as long as he plays for Washington.