ESPN has provided Leonard Williams with motivation ahead of 2022 season

NY Giants, Leonard Williams. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
NY Giants, Leonard Williams. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Entering his third full season with the NY Giants, defensive lineman Leonard Williams is ready to record another big year now that Brian Daboll is head coach of the team. Williams, known for his fiery passion on the gridiron, now has some extra motivation to get the job done thanks to a recent ESPN piece.

ESPN has polled several scouts, execs, players and coaches to determine the Top 10 players at each position. In terms of defensive tackles, the list was loaded, but Williams didn’t make the cut. Instead, the Giants playmaker received ‘honorable mention’ honors. While that’s cool to see, Williams would have much rather seen himself in the Top 10.

NY Giants DL Leonard Williams will need to record a big year for Big Blue

"“Williams had a solid 2021 season with 6.5 sacks and 81 tackles on a bad Giants defense,” an unnamed AFC executive said via ESPN’s article. “Many evaluators agree he’d be in the top five based on talent. He’s got more athleticism than most. He’s underachieved somewhat, but he’s on a bad football team. Talented dude.”"

That quote from the AFC exec makes sense, as Williams really is a force. However, he did disappoint a little bit last season, as his 6.5 sacks were five less than his 11.5 in 2020. That’s a bit of a drop off, but the Giants as a whole were rough to watch last season. The team struggled, but Williams was able to make some big plays for former head man Joe Judge.

Now that Daboll is in town, the morale for the team is extremely high. New defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has also provided his unit with a spark, and Williams will surely look to feed off his new DC’s energy. While a lot of attention has gone to Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and the other offensive playmakers, you can’t forget about NY’s defense.

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The Giants have plenty of studs on that side of the ball, no doubt about it, and Williams is at the top of the list. He’ll need to record plenty of pressure on opposing QBs this fall and winter in order for the Giants to have a chance in recording multiple upsets this season. ESPN may have just provided him with even more reason to ball out in 2022 thanks to their new post. We’ll see how Williams ends up doing, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t put up huge numbers for NY.