Free agency hasn't been kind to the New York Giants' defensive line. What was a strength a year ago has become one of the thinnest units on the team. Both the tackle and end rotations have been eroded. The Giants have invested heavily in defensive tackles the last few years, but don't have much to show for it.
It seems likely that they will be doing so again this year to find a long-term starter to pair with 2013's second- round pick Johnathan Hankins.
While Aaron Donald is getting a lot of consideration in the first round, but let's take a look at a Day 2 prospect just in case the Giants decide to go in another direction at 12th overall.
This time we'll be looking at DaQuan Jones out of Penn State.
- Prototypical build at 6-foot-4, 320 pounds, and long arms. Carries his weight very well
- Fires out of his stance, and plays with violence.
- Excellent quickness for a tackle his size
- Versatile, can rush the passer and play the run from either 1-tech or 3-tech positions.
- Wins with power as well as quickness
- Plays with good awareness, and isn't fooled (or not fooled for long) by play fakes or screens.
- Occasionally takes plays off or doesn't run full speed if the play goes away from him
- Weight has fluctuated, and conditioning could be an issue.
- Occasionally plays too upright, and his technique/hand usage needs some refinement.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
I think so.
More than anything, Jones reminds me of a quicker Linval Joseph. He has more pass-rushing upside than Joseph has (had), but has that same ability to control blockers and double teams. He was used in a variety of ways, lining up as a 5-technique (3-4 defensive end), 3-technique, 1-technique, nose tackle, and even rushing from a two-point stance.
He needs to develop some more moves, but his lenght, power, and suddenness off the snap make him more than a handful for interior defenders. He can split double teams, shed 1-on-1's, or simply drive guards or centers right back into the quarterback's lap.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 67
Mocking The Draft - 76
CBS Sports - 83
Draft Tek - 57
Jones' name gets heard in passing, but he has all the attributes the Giants seem to like in their defensive tackles. He is big, but carries his weight well and is surprisingly athletic. He has the versatility the Giants love out of all of their players and can play both the run and the pass.
As a Day-2 pick, Jones is a remarkably safe prospect who should be able to contribute immediately on any down and has the upside to be a regular starter.