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NFL Defensive Line Power Rankings: New York Giants Listed No. 12 Overall

July 2nd, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Dan Benton

The New York Giants have a lot of areas in which they need to improve in 2014, and right near the top of that list — albeit below turnovers and the offensive line — is the defensive line.

Having lost both Justin Tuck (Oakland Raiders) and Linval Joseph (Minnesota Vikings), that problem now appears compounded for Big Blue. Couple that with the lingering question marks about Jason Pierre-Paul's health and Damontre Moore's development, and it would seem to be, at least on paper, a tall order.

However, that's not to say the Giants don't have talent on the d-line — they absolutely do. In fact, that have an abundance of young talent and now the veteran presence of not only Mathias Kiwanuka and Cullen Jenkins, but Robert Ayers as well. That's why Matt Miller, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, listed Big Blue's defensive line as No. 12 overall in his recent NFL defensive line power rankings.

Starters: Damontre Moore, Johnathan Hankins, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Pierre-Paul

Key Reserves: Jay Bromley (rookie), Robert Ayers, Mathias Kiwanuka, Mike Patterson

It wasn't that long ago when the New York Giants had a defensive line that every NFL offense feared. Today, that's not as much the case, but this group has a chance to silence the critics. To do that, it'll have to stay healthy.

Jason Pierre-Paul must be the anchor of this group, and he has that potential if he can stay on the field for 16 games. The pickup of Robert Ayers is very underrated, and he can be the third pass-rusher this defense needs.

At tackle the team needs Johnathan Hankins to live up to his potential, and many eyes will be on him as he steps into the starting role.

The one player Miller failed to mention was defensive tackle Markus Kuhn, who arrived for offseason workouts in tremendous shape and then made equally tremendous strides on the field. And while Hankins is considered the shoe-in starter next to Jenkins, Kuhn's resurgence promises to make that an interesting training camp battle.

For what it's worth, Miller listed the St. Louis Rams' defensive line as No. 1 overall.

Also…

Tags: Cullen Jenkins, Damontre Moore, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jay Bromley, Johnathan Hankins, Markus Kuhn, Mathias Kiwanuka, Mike Patterson, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Robert Ayers

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2 Responses to “NFL Defensive Line Power Rankings: New York Giants Listed No. 12 Overall”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    Well, I like this defensive line, and by refusing to over-invest in it they gave themselves room to invest in the defensive backfield and the linebackers and, I think, built a very sound defense while also shoring up their huge problem on the offensive line.

    It’s all about allocating resources. As the league has reacted to the increasingly dominant defensive lines (in the trenches the defense is now almost ALWAYS superior athletically to the offense) they have gone to quicker quarterback releases and mobile quarterbacks. That takes away some of the value of a great pass rush and puts more of a premium on overall defensive prowess, particularly in the defensive backfield and up the middle of the defense where the run must be contained. I think the decisions the Giants have made will prove pretty wise, but we’ll have to wait to see.

  2.  Krow says:

    Every time we see one of these rankings they say the same thing … average, mediocre, middle-of-the-pack team.

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