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2019 NFL Draft prospect profile: Greg Gaines, DT, Washington

Gaines made noise at the Senior Bowl, was it enough to put him on the Giants’ radar?

NCAA Football: Washington at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Since the end of 2018 season, New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman made clear that one of the major points of emphasis for the Giants’ offseason would be addressing the defense. That shouldn’t be a surprise and it has been clear for most of a calendar year that it was going to be lacking in talent.

To get the most out of James Bettcher’s scheme, the Giants will need to make a concerted investment in that side of the ball. And that will not only mean adding talent at pass rusher, linebacker, cornerback, and safety, but it will also mean fortifying the depth of the positions which are already solid at the top.

The Giants have a strong history of drafting defensive tackles, but they typically do not extend them past their rookie contracts. That could mean that Dalvin Tomlinson’s days are numbered as he enters his third year. In that case, the Giants could look to add some depth at nose tackle. Washington’s Greg Gaines isn’t the biggest nose tackle in the draft, but he is powerful and plays with fantastic leverage. Because of the nature of the position, he could also be value later in the draft.



  • Massively powerful defensive tackle. Almost immovable when he gets proper leverage.
  • Routinely stands up double teams, collapses running lanes, and overpowers individual blockers.
  • Flashes intriguing upper body flexibility.
  • Able to play off blocks and make tackles outside of his frame.
  • Heavy hands. Shocks and discards blockers.
  • Quick to recognize play-fakes or misdirection.
  • Relentless motor.


  • Short, with short arms. Doesn’t have the frame or length scouts prize.
  • Hand technique is lacking.
  • Inconsistent first step.
  • Limited upside as a pass rusher.
  • Consistent production, but never eye-popping.

Prospect Video

What They’re Saying

“While his ability to control the line of scrimmage, eliminate running lanes and keep the second level clean against the run is appealing, his pass rushing upside is minimal. Given his lack of juice, hand combating skills and lack of flexibility, Gaines doesn’t profile as an impact pass rusher in the NFL and his skill set is limited.”

Does He Fit The Giants?

The Giants have a history of drafting defensive tackles who combine power with surprising movement skills. Historically, their “type” of defensive tackle has worked out well for them, and they have spent most of the last decade and a half relying on a constantly changing rotation of tackles on rookie contracts.

Gaines doesn’t have the length that the Giants usually look for from their defensive players. However, it would not be surprising to see him at the top of his draft class when it comes to strength, which is typically something in which the Giants are interested on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

On the other hand, the Giants have drafted three defensive tackles in the last two years. In 2017 they drafted Dalvin Tomlinson, and then B.J. Hill, and R.J. McIntosh last year. McIntosh hasn’t made much of an impact, but Tomlinson and Hill are the foundation of the Giants’ defense. Drafting another defensive tackle -- particularly one who’s game isn’t primarily based on penetrating into the backfield -- doesn’t seem like a great allocation of resources.

However, Dave Gettleman has never let positional depth get in the way of his draft board, and if Gaines is still on the board later in the draft, the value could be too good to pass up with one of the Giants’ many late-round draft picks.