Jacquian Williams is helping Big Blue get away with not investing at LB once again. The 2011 sixth-round selection saw increased snaps at strongside linebacker for the New York Giants and played the best football of his career down the stretch that season.
Of course, when this play elevation coincides with a Super Bowl run it buys you plenty of good will. Year two didn’t quite see an extrapolation of his late-season play the year prior, unfortunately, but Williams still notched a decent 23rd ranking out of 43 qualifying 4-3 outside linebackers in Pro Football Focus grading for 2012. The highlight of his play at strongside backer came in the run game where he ranked 17th at 43 OLBs.
However, Williams by no means has his spot locked up. It’s a fairly open battle for the two outside backer spots, according to USA Today reporter and longtime Giants beat mean Mike Garafolo.
“The outside spots are wide open, with former top-10 picks Keith Rivers and Aaron Curry having solid shots to get their careers back on track,” wrote Garafolo. “Speedy Jacquian Williams, who played a big role as a rookie during the Super Bowl run in 2011, will contend for a job.”
If free agent signing Dan Connor makes anymore poor decisions like the one leading to his airport arrest, the middle linebacker spot could be up for grabs as well. Until then, the Giants continue to make an astoundingly small investment — I mean, just look at the aforementioned of names — at their linebacker spot. It’s hard to knock general manager Jerry Reese when this is has worked for years.