New York Giants DT Dexter Lawrence finishes as the highest-graded rookie interior defensive lineman per Pro Football Focus.
His high grade shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who watched him on the field this season.
The Giants defense was atrocious during the 2019 season. However, Lawrence offered Giants’ fans a glimmer of hope for the future.
The Giants selected Lawrence with the 17th pick of the 2019 draft. They received the selection as part of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade with the Cleveland Browns. Lawrence spent three years at Clemson University before declaring for the NFL Draft.
Lawrence looked like he belonged in the NFL from the get-go and his play on the field showed it. He was impactful and made his presence known, especially in the run game. He was given a 76.3 run-defense grade by PFF.
That grade’s backed up by his 28 tackles, one forced fumble and three tackles for loss. Lawrence wasn’t an impact pass rusher, with just two and a half sacks, but his 29 pressures show major upside in that department
These numbers really are great for a rookie and Lawrence deserves all the praise and accolades he’s being awarded.
Lawrence was also recently named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team for this past season.
Newly hired defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will most likely bring with him serious changes to the defense. So, it’ll be interesting to see how he uses Lawrence, and how well Lawrence fits in his scheme next year.
Lawrence came out of the gates with a bang and showed that he has the potential to be an anchor for the Giants’ defensive line moving forward.