One of the more intriguing sub-plots to the New York Giants’ 2018 offseason is their transition to James Bettcher’s defense.
When healthy, the Giants’ defense in Steve Spagnuolo’s second stint as defensive coordinator featured a powerful defensive line that could win the line of scrimmage while exotic and aggressive blitz packages provided the pass rush with a spark. But when the defense, and secondary in particular, was hit by injuries in 2017, the Giants’ once-formidable defense crumbled.
James Bettcher’s defense is more reliant on smaller, hyper-athletic players at every level of defense, and an amorphous front that can shift to create mismatches depending on down, distance, and package.
Even with the addition of Kareem Martin, how Bettcher feels about Romeo Okwara, and Avery Moss could determine how whether the Giants want to invest in another versatile lineman who can play a variety of roles depending on the situation. Ohio State fielded an incredible number of NFL-caliber defensive linemen in 2017, including Tyquan Lewis, a powerful player who manned both defensive end and defensive tackle positions.
Could he interest the Giants as they restructure their defense?
- Stocky build with relatively long arms and obvious lower-body power.
- Uses hands well. Active in beating cut blockes and keeping linemen off his chest plate.
- Surprising ability to bend the edge.
- Versatility to play inside or outside depending on down, distance, and sub-package.
- Shows a determination to work through blocks.
- Consonsistent producer the last three years at Ohio State. Averaged 8 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss over over that period.
- Looks clunky and unnatural dropping into coverage.
- Isn’t a fluid athlete.
- Lower body is explosive, but first step isn’t great.
- Can get hung up on blockers if his initial move doesn’t work.
- Played on an exceptionally talented front 7.
What they’re saying
COMPARES TO: Adrian Clayborn, Atlanta Falcons – Lewis doesn’t have the same NFL ceiling as Clayborn, but he has the well-rounded skill-set and toughness that mirrors the veteran defensive end.
IN OUR VIEW: Lewis isn’t a dynamic rush threat, which lowers his ceiling as a NFL player, but he competes with the technique, toughness and character to play in the NFL for a long time.
-Dane Brugler (NFLDraftScout)
Lewis likely isn’t on any lists of top defensive end prospects, but he is an interesting player to watch. He is a tough, strong lineman with the ability to take on and control blockers, push the pocket with his bull-rushes, or disrupt in the backfield. However, his game is built more on tenacity and that strength than on explosive athleticism
Lewis is currently being talked about as a Day 3 pick, and being unable to go through an entire combine workout while having a bout with the flu isn’t going to help his draft stock. He has the kind of versatility that could be valuable in the Giants’ “multiple” defensive front, with the ability to play heads-up on an offensive tackle in base packages while rushing from the inside in sub-packages.