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Giants Position Battles: Defensive tackle rotation shaping up

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Breaking down the defensive tackle position for the Giants as they get ready to begin preseason games.

Rob Carr

When the New York Giants began preparation for the upcoming season, it was assumed Johnathan Hankins, last year's second-round pick, would slide in opposite Cullen Jenkins as the team's starting defensive tackle. Early on, Mike Patterson hasn't been so reluctant to give up the No. 1 spot.

Below you will find a complete look at the team's defensive tackle rotation and what each has shown in camp.

Cullen Jenkins

Joining the Giants last year follow two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jenkins was solid with New York and looks to build on that this year. Jenkins has had a solid camp and rarely comes off the field.

"I just try to teach (the defensive tackles) a lot of experience, pass down a lot of things that I know: with a lot of things in practice, with our offense, the style of offense that we have. You have to talk to them and teach them things like ‘be ready for different types of offenses’ because you get used to going against our guys and what they do. But then you go into a game sometimes and you’re not used to that switch in scheme. So you just try to pass down a lot of knowledge and help them prepare for what’s going to come.

Mike Patterson

When Mike Patterson initially resigned with the Giants this offseason, he was ecstatic for the chance to simply "play more football." Little did he know he'd start the offseason atop the depth chart. While Patterson admitted the defensive line works in a rotation, he also loves the fact he's presently listed as the starter.

"We have a lot of guys that can step up (as a leader). We have Kiwi, we have [Cullen] Jenkins, we need JPP to step up, and if I needed to, I could. We always have had leaders. Good thing about us is we never overstep anybody’s boundaries. If one person wants to step up and take the lead, we let them take the lead. That is the thing about the d-line; everyone is mature enough to understand how the roles go and what we need to get done."

Johnathan Hankins

When the Giants reported for the team's offseason conditioning program, Tom Coughlin stated Hankins would need to earn the start defensive tackle position. Through the first week of training camp, that still holds true. While Hankins has seen additional reps with the first team, it's been Mike Patterson out first each time. So far, Patterson hasn't done anything to lose the top spot.

Markus Kuhn

The second-year pro has flashed multiple times throughout training camp with his violence, physicality and high motor. It'll take a big preseason for Kuhn to make the roster. One he looks primed to put on display.

Jay Bromley

Bromley has had a quiet training camp thus far. Then again, he plays defensive tackle and pads have been put on just four times. New York's third-round pick did flash with a hard tackle on Kendall Gaskins a few practice sago.