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PFF: Two Giants’ rookies among league’s top 10

Dexter Lawrence, Darius Slayton make the cut

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NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

If you want to make an argument for why Dave Gettleman could, or should, remain as general manager of the New York Giants, that argument likely centers around his two draft classes.

Pro Football Focus is out with a little ammo for the pro-Gettleman crowd, showing that with just two games remaining in the season two Giants are among the league’s top 10 highest-graded rookies.

Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, the 17th pick in the draft, is No. 5. PFF writes:

Lawrence has been a handful in the running game all season for the Giants, producing 18 stops and a 77.5 run-defense grade. What gets us at PFF going, though, is his 29 total quarterback pressures. That’s rare from a big fella, especially for one who only turned 22 years old a month ago. When we compare him to recent first-round defensive tackles (in the table below), you can see just how special he looks.

Rookie QB Pressures

Year Player Pressures
Year Player Pressures
2019 Dexter Lawrence 29
2019 Christian Wilkins 26
2019 Ed Oliver 25
2018 Vita Vea 26
2018 Daron Payne 27
2017 Jonathan Allen 16

The second Giant in the top 10 is wide receiver Darius Slayton, the only Day 3 pick on the PFF list. He comes in at No. 9. PFF writes:

The lone Day 3 pick to make our top-10 ranking, Slayton’s making a lot of draft analysts (myself included) look dumb. After dropping eight of his 43 catchable targets last season at Auburn — and four on 33 the season prior — Slayton’s hands have looked drastically improved this season. He’s dropped just three of his 47 catchable targets and has been excellent in contested situations where he’s hauled in 11 of his 22 attempts.

Say what you want about whether or not Gettleman completely maximized the two draft classes, but Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, a quarterback of the future in Daniel Jones, Lawrence, Slayton, an improving DeAndre Baker and Julian Love looks like a pretty good two-year haul.