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Giants’ Dalvin Tomlinson Plans To Be “Dominant”

Rookie steps into starting lineup after injury to Jay Bromley

NFL: New York Jets at New York Giants
Dalvin Tomlinson
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Johnathan Hankins did not start as a rookie defensive tackle for the New York Giants. Neither did Linval Joseph. For that matter, defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora weren’t starters as rookies, either.

When the Giants face the Dallas Cowboys in their season-opener on Sept. 10, though, it appears pretty certain that second-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson will be starting at defensive tackle. That wasn’t the plan, but Jay Bromley said Monday that he isn’t sure he will be ready to play against Dallas after injuring a knee Saturday against the New York Jets.

Tomlinson isn’t exactly intimidated by the thought of facing the defending NFC East champs, a team that boasts one of the league’s premier offensive lines.

That’s pretty bold from a guy who has never played an NFL game. Perhaps, though, having played for Nick Saban at Alabama — where the yearly expectation is having the best defense in the country and winning the national championship — has something to do with that.

The Giants seem to have no doubts about Tomlinson.

“He’s a player that’s played at a tremendous level in the college game,” said coach Ben McAdoo. “He’s come in, he’s learned the system very well. He’s good with his hands, he plays with leverage, he destroys blocks. We feel he’ll be ready to play Week 1.”

Linebacker Jonathan Casillas is also comfortable with Tomlinson.

“I’ve seen some impressive stuff on tape. So, I think for him to play for us, I think we’re all ready for him to play. Whether it’s behind Snacks (Damon Harrison), rotating at the three, whatever it is. I’m sure he’ll be a solid contributor. It’s so early, we don’t have anything of his body of work besides college,” Casillas said. “So, it’s hard to say ‘he’s done this here’ when he hasn’t. From what I’ve seen so far, he’s very strong, he’s very physical, and we’re going to need that play from him.”

Yes, they are. And Tomlinson has no doubt he will deliver.