The New York Giants‘ two biggest losses in the 2014 offseason have come at the expense of the defensive line. Defensive end Justin Tuck and defensive tackle Linval Joseph were two of the team’s top defensive players in 2013 but have moved on from New York in recent weeks.
In his short career, Joseph has become a very nice player who had been extremely important to the Giants, especially in defending the run. The departure of Joseph leaves New York with Cullen Jenkins and Johnathan Hankins at defensive tackle.
Jenkins is a seasoned veteran who had a solid 2013 season. However, the Giants will need even more out of him in 2014. Jenkins has been a Pro Bowler in the past and New York may need to see that level of performance once again.
The case of Hankins is a little more blurry. The Giants drafted Hankins in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, Hankins saw limited action and played fairly well in different spots for New York. However, it’s unclear if he is ready to take on an expanded role on the defensive front.
New York can obviously still sign a defensive tackle and/or draft a defensive tackle before the 2014 season kicks off. Their moves from here on will depend on how confident they are in Hankins.
The Giants will surely add someone because depth is crucial for a successful defensive line, however, the kind of the player they add will tell you a little bit about their plans for Hankins.