The New York Giants only lost one piece of the self-proclaimed New York Pass Defense (NYPD). That piece was defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins, who signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts. The Giants found his replacement on Day Two of the NFL Draft at the No. 55 overall pick, and his name is Dalvin Tomlinson, defensive tackle from the University of Alabama.
The six-foot-three, 310 lbs. Crimson Tide tackle was part of one of the most dominant defenses at the college level in the past three years. Not only that, but Alabama allowed the least amount of rushing yards per game in the nation for the past two seasons. In his senior year, Tomlinson accrued 62 total tackles, as well as three sacks, seven quarterback hurries, and four pass breakups. Tomlinson fits in with the prototypical Big Blue defense that the team has been known for.
“I was excited,” said Tomlinson, after receiving a call from the Giants. “My family was excited with me. Everyone was happy for the most part. I wasn’t sure where I was going. I was just waiting and being patient, to be honest.”
Tomlinson has some big game experience at the college level, where he played in the past two National Championship games, winning in 2016. Not only that, but Tomlinson won the SEC Championship in three years. These experiences in the national spotlight will be a welcome sight for the Giants. Tomlinson also gets to reunite with fellow 2012 Alabama recruit Landon Collins.
“Yes, I’m super excited to see Landon again,” said Tomlinson. “The Giants defense is an amazing defense. I love the play calls and the scheme they run. I feel like I’m going to be a perfect fit for their defense.”
Tomlinson is entering the league to fill very important shoes. He is expected to fill in the void left by Hankins, and will be paired alongside Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon, and Jason Pierre-Paul. That’s a pretty good learning tree to sit under.
“I haven’t gotten to meet them personally but I’m pretty sure when we get there we’re going to have a pretty good relationship and build an even stronger brotherhood,” said Tomlinson. “They’re going to mentor me and become a better defensive line.”
“You see him on tape, [he] plays at a high level,” said Giants head coach Ben McAdoo. “…he’s pro-ready, plays with a good pace, uses his hands very well, which is something you don’t get with a lot of guys coming out of college and do it very well. He’s not just a run stopper, he has some transition rush skills, which is nice on first and second down. He has some versatility there to.”
One of the main concerns regarding Tomlinson is that he has gone through two ACL surgeries. One when entering college, and the second one in 2013, where he only played one game before missing the remainder of the season. Tomlinson and the Giants were asked about this red flag on his medical reports.
“Most defensive linemen probably wouldn’t have been able to come back from it the way I did,” said Tomlinson. “Also, to fight through it each and every day was tough on me at first. I just kept fighting through it each and every day and it ended up working out in the long run. I’m grateful for it because everything happens for a reason.”
“He’s played on those things for three years now,” said Giants general manager Jerry Reese. “Our trainers and doctors were okay with him and didn’t think it would be an issue.”
Here are some fun facts about Tomlinson. Tomlinson was heavily recruited by Harvard University, but ultimately chose to attend Alabama. While at Alabama, Tomlinson earned his undergraduate degree in finance, where he plans to earn his second degree in financial planning. When asked about it, Jerry Reese had a funny quip about it.
“We want him to play football,” said Reese. “We don’t want him to do our taxes or anything like that. We want him to come in, stop that run and push that pocket so our defensive ends can get to the quarterback.”
So there you have it, Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants defensive tackle. No team tax advising for now.
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