The New York Giants saw some fixtures from the past couple of seasons along their defensive line depart this offseason. The loss of Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck were not filled much during free agency, as the Giants signed only Robert Ayers along the defensive line as a free agent. But they did make an addition in the 2014 NFL Draft to try offsetting some of the losses, selecting Jay Bromley out of Syracuse in the third round.
Bromley’s production in college is the biggest factor in the Giants making him their selection in the third round. His statistics really jump out at you from his senior year with the Orange when he accumulated 10 sacks, ranking tied for 17th in all of college football. He flashes above-average quickness and agility in the middle of the line that helps him penetrate and cause problems for opposing offenses.
He plays extremely hard, possessing work ethic rivaled by few as he knows it will take hard work to get to where he wants to be. He has a real love for the game, putting in the extra reps necessary off the field in the film and weight room as well. He also had excellent durability during his time in school, appearing in 50 of 51 games over his four years in college.
Where Bromley will have to improve is getting stronger at the point of attack. He has decent bulk in his lower body, but it wouldn’t hurt for him to add more strength in his upper body. It will help him develop the finishing strength and power he does not always possess in the trenches.
People will also point out that he does not always have the fire and mean streak on the field. That is a quality overblown by some people. If Bromley is producing how he has shown he is capable of, the mean streak and less violent play is irrelevant. He is a reserved player who chooses to lead by his play than with his words and is a player who is easily coached.
There are big shoes to fill in the middle of the Giants’ defensive line with Joseph moving on to the Minnesota Vikings, and Bromley should help fill them. Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and last year’s second-round pick Jonathan Hankins are all entrenched above Bromley on the depth chart currently, but that is not set in stone. He also will have some competition from Kelcy Quarles, who was surprisingly available as an UDFA after the draft concluded.
Bromley could crack the rotation as a situational pass-rusher from the defensive tackle position. Last season, Joseph, Jenkins, Patterson and Hankins combined for only eight sacks.
The Giants also needed depth along the defensive line and he will provide that. Jenkins and Patterson are older players, so getting some youthfulness behind them is a smart move. Also, Hankins is an unproven player, and like anyone on the roster, will have to prove he belongs; look no further than Marvin Austin, a former Giants’ second-round pick who was sent packing last season because he did not produce.
While there is definitely a need for another defensive tackle on the roster, the competition will be fierce for playing time. Jenkins and Patterson cannot play the whole game, so there will be snaps available for the younger players to take up. If Bromley can show the same disruption he did while at Syracuse, he should have no problem finding his way onto the field.