The New York Giants have been signing all the massive run stuffers they can get their hands on this offseason. Christopher Hinton is the youngest of the group, but he has drawn considerable hype dating back to high school. Can he stand out from the crowd? Let’s discuss as we continue our profiles of the Giants’ 90-man training camp roster.
By the numbers
Position: Defensive line
Contract: Three-year, $2.575 million rookie deal | 2022 cap hit: $710,000
Career to date
Given Hinton’s high school career, it’s a bit of a surprise that he ended up as an undrafted free agent. His father was a seven-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman who was part of the trade that sent John Elway to the Denver Broncos. ESPN had Hinton ranked as the No. 5 defensive tackle in the country when he entered college, and he received offers from Alabama and Clemson before committing to Michigan.
Hinton broke out as a junior at Michigan last year with 33 tackles while starting every game on the interior for the Big Ten champs. A repeat performance could have improved his draft status, but Hinton chose to forgo his senior year and declare for the draft.
“Everyone has a clock; everyone has a timetable for your ability to play your best football,” Hinton told Michigan Live before the draft. “Because football is not a game where you see people typically playing at the age of 40. (I wanted to get) that clock started early so I can capitalize on my younger years and my prime years.”
Dane Brugler of The Athletic had a seventh-round grade on Hinton. Here’s what he had to say:
Hinton uses his length to extend, lock out and control the point of attack. However, he is heavy-legged and needs to be more forceful with his shed/toss to fire off blocks and create disruption. Overall, Hinton is stout at contact with the base strength to hold his ground, but his lack of range and explosive traits significantly limit his next level impact. He projects as an early-down NFL backup.
Undrafted free agents are never guaranteed a spot on the team, but Hinton feels like one of the most likely of the group to at least make the practice squad.
The Giants’ defensive line, like most of their position groups, lacks elite talent but is filled with more players worthy of a roster spot than can fit in the 53-man limit. Hinton would likely need to beat out fifth-round pick D.J. Davidson to make it, and that’s unlikely.
Hinton’s size and experience mean there could be untapped potential as an early-down run stuffer, something the Giants seem to be on the hunt for. Don’t be shocked if he sticks around.