Excerpt: "While the defensive ends have gotten most of the praise for the Giants vaunted pass rush, the defensive tackles showed enough force to keep their men occupied, often leading to one-on-one matchups for the ends to capitalize on. The loss of veteran Chris Canty will be big, but the front office brought in several veterans who can make an impact
The Candidates: Linval Joseph, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Johnathan Hankins, Markus Kuhn, Shaun Rogers, Marvin Austin.
Key Injuries: Kuhn is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in week ten last year. It would not be surprising if he opens camp–and possibly the season– on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Battles to Watch: Joseph is the alpha-dog of this unit, as he has started every game in the last two seasons and was the starter alongside Canty for the Giants 2011 Super Bowl run.
This year, it seems that Jenkins has the other starting tackle job stitched up. Jenkins is the most experienced and accomplished tackle outside of Joseph, and he has seen the most reps with the first team so far this offseason.
The backup spot is where the battle is going to be, as there is a log jam of veterans and young players filled with potential vying for some playing time.
Veteran Patterson and rookie Hankins will fight for the third tackle spot on the depth chart during training camp.
The Giants brought in Patterson a year after having undergone a corrective procedure on his brain that limited him to only have games played last year. Before the injury, Patterson was a rock on the Eagles’ defensive line, starting 15 games or more every year from 2006-2011, while compiling 15 sacks in the same stretch.
If Patterson’s health and conditioning are up to par, then it will be interesting to see how much he had left.
Patterson’s competition for the third defensive tackle spot is Hankins, who was a second round pick in the 2013 draft out of Ohio State.
With the Buckeyes, “Big Hank” garnered second team All-American and first team All- Big Ten honors in 2012 and was named Ohio State’s most outstanding defensive player as a sophomore in 2011
The knocks on Hankins coming out of college was that he would get fatigued too often due to his fluctuating weight, and his inability to pass rush. He would play anywhere between 330-350 lbs., which would make him and ideal candidate to see time in short yardage situations, but he is not viewed as a three-down lineman as of yet. However, he does not need to be a three-down lineman on this Giants defensive line, so that will work to his advantage.
Ultimately, it comes down to experience and proven production in the NFL, and Patterson wins both categories easily. He will beat out Hankins and land third on the depth chart.
The tricky part of the defensive tackle rotation is who the Giants will keep on the roster as their fifth–if they decide to keep a fifth." Read more...