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Chris Slayton: Can he earn a role on New York Giants’ defensive line?

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Slayton spent nearly all of rookie season on the practice squad

New York Giants v New England Patriots
Chris Slayton
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

When the New York Giants used their final pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on defensive tackle Chris Slayton a dubious Chris Pflum wrote “Slayton doesn’t really bring anything to the Giants that they don’t already have.”

In 2019, at least, it turned out that the former member of the Syracuse Orange didn’t bring anything to the Giants they felt compelled to use. Slayton, with the exception of a Week 17 cameo in which he was activated but did not play, spent the entire season on the practice squad.

Will that change in 2020? Let’s take a closer look.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 307
Age: 24 in August
Position: Defensive tackle
Experience: 1
Contract: Year 2 of two-year, $1.08 million rookie contract

How he got here

An old philosophy of former Giants GM George Young was to stock up on offensive and defensive linemen late in drafts. Current GM Dave Gettleman is a hog-mollie loving traditionalist with a bit of Young in him, and he added Slayton to the defensive line mix at the end of the 2019 draft.

Slayton was a good player at Syracuse, compiling 30.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in a four-year career.

Slayton was used mostly as a nose tackle during the spring and summer, and ended up not making the final roster. He could not, however, crack the Giants’ defensive line rotation.

2020 outlook

Things aren’t going to get easier for Slayton this time around. Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson, Leonard Williams, B.J. Hill, Austin Johnson and RJ McIntosh are all ahead of him — and it’s debatable as to how many of those players the Giants will keep.

In a year when practice squad players could be more important than ever, it’s not hard to see Slayton back on the Giants’ practice squad for a second season.