New York Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin has not exactly had it easy in the football world the past couple of years. He was suspended his senior year at North Carolina after being found guilty by the NCAA of receiving improper benefits. That scared many teams away from Austin who was considered to possess top-10 pick potential. However, the Giants took a flyer on him in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft in the hopes of getting the player from his junior year at North Carolina. However, Austin suffered a torn pectoral muscle in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears that ended his season before it began.
Now, Austin is fully recovered and looking to make an impression on the team that took a chance on him. Austin will be asked to contribute this season. The New York Giants defensive tackle depth consists of Austin, Chris Canty, Shaun Rogers, Linval Joseph, second year players Dwayne Hendricks, and Martin Parker, and rookie Markus Kuhn. The inside of the defensive line consists of three solid players and several unknowns and Austin who has the ability to be the best of the group. Head coach Tom Coughlin and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell are hoping that Austin has learned enough of the defense to become a steady member of the rotation on the inside with Canty, Rogers, and Joseph.
Austin’s potential is why the Giants drafted him. It isn’t often that someone with his ability drops to the second round. However, it will be up to Austin to show the Giants coaching staff that he can not only be a reliable member of a defensive tackle rotation but that he can be the star that everyone envisions. Coming back after two years away from football is not easy. Austin will surely be rusty and will take some time to get into playing shape, even with training camp and OTA’s.
Austin is big, 6-2, 309 pounds, strong (38 reps in the bench press), and fast (4.84 40-yard dash at the combine). He has all the physical tools a coach looks for in a defensive tackle. He has violent hands that keep offensive linemen off balance and a quickness that can put him into an opponent’s backfield in a flash. To put it simply, Marvin Austin has the ability to become an elite defensive tackle. He just needs to stay healthy and turn potential into reality. Starting this July he will finally get his chance to prove it.