Following a 2012 season in which the Giants' defensive tackle rotation was ravaged by injury, Jerry Reese responded by bolstering the rotation with veteran free agents such as Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson as well as drafting Johnathan Hankins. in 2013 the defensive tackle position was one of the Giants' greatest strengths.
This offseason could see one of their best young players, Linval Joseph, leave via free agency. And while Hankins has looked incredibly promising despite limited snaps, the loss of Joseph could be a serious blow to a unit that would have to depend on aging players that faded at the end of the season.
Louis Nix III, of Notre Dame, could be a possible solution at defensive tackle should Linval Joseph leave.
Nix had a breakout season in 2012 that helped propel Notre Dame to the BCS Championship game. Despite the loss to Alabama, Nix was considered the top defensive tackle in the nation entering the 2013 season. However, Nix started slowly, and saw his season ended early by a torn meniscus (which he had surgery on in November).
Louis Nix III is an enormous human being at 6-foot-3, 340 pounds. However, despite that build it would be doing him a disservice to call him a nose tackle and be done with it. Much like John Hankins, Nix has the athleticism to play the 1-tech, the 3-tech, even some 5-tech in a 3-4 front, as well as the nose tackle he looks like.
- Exceptional size and strength
- Violent hands
- Surprisingly agile and explosively powerful
- Very quick first step
- Carries his weight very well despite his massive size.
- Wide open motor
- High character off the field, but plays angry between the whistle
- Disruptive behind the line of scrimmage
- Demands double teams
- Versatile, can play any defensive tackle position
- Knee injury could impact his athleticism
- His emotions can get the better of him
- Technique can use use some improvement, and he can play too high at times, neutralizing his power and explosiveness
- His sheer size could mean that endurance will be an issue. His weight will likely have to be closely watched by whatever team drafts him
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Dos he fit? Absolutely. Would he be drafted by the Giants? I'll have to go with "unlikely" as of now. Depending on how the draft shakes out, Giants' fans should not be disappointed if Nix is drafted at no. 12 overall. However, it's likely that better players, or players of similar talent but at higher-leverage positions will be available, and the Giants would go another way.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View -- 15th overall
Mocking The Draft -- 11th overall
CBS -- 15th overall
Draft Countdown -- 11th overall
DraftTek -- 6th overall
Most Giants' fans reaction to the thought of drafting Nix would likely be "Not another DT!", "Too many DL!", or "Too many holes elsewhere!". However, there is a severe lack of young depth at the defensive tackle position. If Joseph leaves, that leaves Hankins, and two aging players in Jenkins and Patterson. While we rightly demand an infusion of youth and athleticism on the offensive line, can we risk the defensive line reverting to it's 2012 incarnation?
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