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NFL Draft results: Why the Giants selected Dalvin Tomlinson

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Alabama defensive tackle impressive on the field and off

NFL: Combine
Dalvin Tomlinson
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

What did the New York Giants see that led them to select defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft on Friday night. Let’s let them explain.

General manager Jerry Reese

“Big guy that we think can come in and compete for a starting job for us. Create a lot of competition at that position. He’s a two-gap type player. He can hold the point of attack, has that NFL toughness that we like and the profile that we like. We thought he was a terrific pick right here right now at this point in the draft.”

On whether need at defensive tackle increased when Johnathan Hankins left via free agency ...

“We’re just trying to pick good players. Obviously Hank left, so that created a little bit of a void. We’re just trying to pick good players. We stayed true to our board and he was the next man in line.”

On Tomlinson’s Combine interview with the Giants ...

“He was one of the best interviews we thought out of the entire Combine. He was one of the best guys we interviewed. He’s a New York Giant kind of player. I can’t remember everything because we interview so many guys. I just remember that he was impressive. When he left the room, everyone was like, ‘wow, that was pretty impressive.’ “

On how Tomlinson fits with Damon Harrison ...

“We think he can push the pocket inside. He’s violent with his hands inside. He’s got that NFL toughness that we like. He has the grown man strength inside. We think he can push the pocket for us inside. You have to stop the run up here. You have to rush the passer and you have to stop the run. I think he gives us a two-way guy.”

On Tomlinson having had two ACL injuries ...

“Yes, that came into consideration for us. He’s played on those things for three years now. Our trainers and doctors were okay with him and didn’t think it would be an issue.”

VP of Player Evaluation Marc Ross

On whether Tomlinson can contribute right away ...

“For sure. It kind of reminded us – we kind of talked about the situation where when we had Linval (Joseph), the year we took him we kind of talked about him early and then he was there in the second for us and filled a void. Linval goes and then (Jonathan Hankins), we were really high on Hank and we talked about him early and he was there in the second round and we took Hank and he filled in. Both of those guys became pretty good players for us, so this was kind of a similar situation.”

On similarities/differences between Hankins and Tomlinson ...

“They are different players. I will just talk about Dalvin. Dalvin is strong, he is country strong, he has jolt, he has walk-back power, he is stout at the point of attack, he has sneaky athleticism and every down he plays hard. Every down.”

On Tomlinson’s impressive Combine interview ...

“Man, Dalvin was one of the best definitely this year, but he will be a guy that you talk about for a long time. He was one of the more memorable ones that we have had. He was just smart, mature, poised, confident, just a man. He walked in the room and he had a commanding presence and as they say at Alabama, he is a man’s man. He was an ultimate leader there, guy you want in the foxhole and just really a leader for those guys. We hope that he brings some of those same attributes for us.

“Yeah, well you knew about it coming in because all of our scouts do a great job throughout the year getting the information, and everything from Bama right from the start was, ‘Watch out for this guy, he is underrated. They have all these stars on the defense, but watch out for this guy.’ Sure enough, the guy is kind of the lynch pin of their defense and they are underrated, so you knew all of the positive things that they say and then when he comes in the room and talks – you will see when he gets here. The guy is pretty impressive.”

Head coach Ben McAdoo

On what he likes about Tomlinson ...

“You see him on tape, [he] plays at a high level, he’s pro-ready, plays with a good pace, uses his hands very well, which is something you don’t get with a lot of guys coming out of college and do it very well. He’s not just a run stopper, he has some transition rush skills, which is nice on first and second down. He has some versatility there to.”

On whether the Giants were thinking about facing a team like Dallas when they selected Tomlinson ...

“Just value in big guys. It’s where he was on the board, but you have to stop the run. That’s the foundation in this game. One of the core parts of this game is stopping the run, getting teams into third down and long so you can rush the passer and disrupt the quarterback.