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Can Giants’ DT D.J. Davidson maintain his roster spot in 2023?

The big-bodied defensive lineman has competition up the middle

NFL: AUG 11 Preseason - Giants at Patriots
D.J. Davidson
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

D.J. Davidson is another New York Giants 2022 draft pick seeking to find a role with the team. As is the case with many of those picks, he is coming off an ACL tear that may make it harder for him to crack the roster in 2023.

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 327
Age: 23
Position: Interior defensive lineman
Experience: 1
Contract: Second year of four-year, $4,014,120 rookie deal | $354,120 guaranteed at signing | 2023 cap hit: $958,530

Career to date

Davidson was selected by the Giants last year as a fifth-round pick out of Arizona State. His college career was highlighted by his 2021 redshirt senior season when he played a lot of nose tackle and posted 57 tackles, six for loss, and four pass deflections and was named Curly Culp outstanding defensive lineman.

Davidson’s rookie season with the Giants was cut short when he tore his ACL against the Packers in Week 5. He played 43 defensive line snaps and 42 special teams snaps in the first five games. He received a 39.8 Pro Football Focus grade.

2023 outlook

Davidson did not do much for the Giants in the short opportunity he received in 2022. He now has other big-bodied competition in Jordon Riley, this year’s sixth-round pick. With Davidson returning from injury, Riley might have a leg up on the spot. Davidson will have some work to do to make the roster and may end up on the practice squad, as predicted by Ed Valentine.