Almost everyone watching expected the New York Giants to select an offensive lineman or a defensive back with their final pick in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Instead, they selected RJ McIntosh, a defensive tackle out of the University of Miami.
The move was met with surprise and confusion for a few reasons. First, the Giants had already taken an athletic defensive tackle with their second pick in the third round. Secondly, the team was still badly in need of help and depth in both the offensive front and and defensive secondary. And finally, few were really familiar with McIntosh as a player.
With the teams’ decision made, it’s time we went back and took a closer look to find out about one of the newest Giants.
Pro Day Results
40 Time: 5.12 seconds (1.80sec 10 yard split)
3-Cone: 7.78 seconds
Short Shuttle: 5.09 seconds
Vertical Jump: 27 inches
Broad Jump: 8 feet, 3 inches
- Quick, long, and athletic pass rushing defensive lineman.
- Flashes an effective arm-over move to penetrate gaps.
- Has a high-revving motor and plenty of hustle.
- Gets his hands up to disrupt passing lanes.
- Can be a disruptive player in the middle of the defense.
- Versatility to play 5-technique or 3-technique.
- Needs to build strength and play with more power.
- Needs to improve his hand usage.
- Vulnerable to cut blocks.
- Needs to be more consistent with pad level.
What they’re saying
“Athletic defensive tackle with the speed and quickness to make impact plays, but the lack of core strength to give up big plays against the run. McIntosh has developmental potential to work with and should take a big step forward once he learns to work his hands as a pass rusher. While he has disruptive potential, he has to get his play strength to a functional level in order to hold up as an every-down player. While teams will likely view him as a defensive tackle, McIntosh could fit as a base 4-3 end with the ability to reduce inside on passing downs.”
Does he fit the Giants?
McIntosh is not yet a finished product. He has a solid foundation with intriguing athleticism and a frame that should let him play in a variety of packages, based on down and distance.
McIntosh flashes the ability to be a disruptive force on the inside of the defense. He can be an absolute handful for linemen when he fires off of the ball and is able to win with his initial quickness. Attacking gaps, he flashes an effective swim move that capitalizes on his length, letting him shoot gaps before most linemen are able to take advantage of his exposed side.
However, he will need to get better at using his hands as well as build strength and power if he wants to unlock his potential at the NFL level. He has a tendency to get hung up on blocks if he isn’t about to “out-quick” them. Having the power to deliver an initial jolt will help open things up and allow him to bring the rest of his toolbox to bear.
McIntosh’s build would have fallen somewhere between a defensive tackle and a defensive end in a 4-3 defense, but he has the look of a natural 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 front. Adding to his value, he should still be able to slide inside to defensive tackle in sub-packages, hopefully giving the Giants an athletic interior rusher.
He shows a fair number of flashes on tape, and if he can build on them, hopefully the McIntosh will bring some of that Miami swag to the Giants’ defense.